Hurricanes and tropical cyclones are defined by their strong winds. However, the storm surges they produce can often prove to be equally destructive in coastal communities.
Hurricane Aida was expected to cause dangerous storm surges in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Storm surges are defined as anomalous sea level rise produced by storms beyond the predicted astronomical tides. Surges are created by seawater moving inland, pushed by the force of the wind.
In the open ocean, hurricanes can hit water without creating a surge. However, near the coast, shallow water is blown inland, threatening property and life.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the largest surges occur along the coast in windy areas, with large and dangerous waves in high waters.
According to the center, the extent of floods associated with surges depends on the timing of the surges and the tidal cycle and can vary significantly over short distances.
According to the center, Ike, a Category 2 hurricane that landed near Galveston Island, Texas in 2008, generated a surge 15 to 20 feet above normal tide levels. Property damage was estimated at $ 24.9 billion.
The National Hurricane Center said areas under high tide warnings are at risk of “life-threatening floods.” According to the center, people in these areas need to pay attention to evacuation orders from local authorities.