Why a storm surge can be the deadliest part of a hurricane
It can start before a hurricane even makes landfall.
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What really concerns experts, though, are places that don’t experience a lot of hurricanes but are still vulnerable to storm surge.
This map shows that in the event of a big hurricane, based on the characteristics of the shoreline, the coasts of Northwest Florida and Georgia would be at comparable risk to the Gulf Coast.
These areas have shallow water, which means sea level can rise faster and water can reach further inland making the flooding worse.
But they’ve seen fewer hurricanes than the Gulf Coast and they are likely to be less prepared.
So when a major hurricane like Irma hits low-lying areas like these, the storm surge can be the first and deadliest thing headed their way.
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