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4 Things You Need to Know About Storm Surges

We are all too aware of the destruction hurricanes can cause, but do you know just how devastating the surges created by these storms can be to you, your home, and your family?

A storm surge is water from the ocean that is pushed towards the shore, usually by hurricane force winds. Storm surges happen quickly and can reach 30 feet or more, driving water miles inland and trapping you in your home. They should not be taken lightly, which is why we are going to discuss the 5 things you need to know about storm surges so that you and your family can stay safe.

1. Coastline Shape Matters | If you’re near a coast that bows inward versus outward, you’re more at risk for a storm surge because water can get funneled into a small area. Shallow waters, bays, and inlets can make a storm surge worse so it’s best to be aware of where you are geographically before a storm ever forms.

2. Timing is Everything | If you live near the coast and find yourself in the path of a storm, timing will determine how much flooding you’ll be at risk for. If a storm lands during high tide, the risk for a larger storm surge is higher.

3. Wind Intensity | Let’s face it, wind is one of the main culprits of a storm surge, even though it’s not everything (speed and size are additional factors). But a good general rule of thumb is the stronger the force of the storm (Category 1 – 5), the more devastating the storm surge will be.

4. Fast- & Slow-Moving Storms | While faster moving storms have the power to produce a higher surge on the open coast, a slower storm has the ability to cause massive flooding. A storm moving at 10 miles per hour can create up to 25 inches of rain.