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Whoa! First Look at the Dangerous Storm Surge in Miami (Videos)

Sunday, September 10, 2017 8:58
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Will the waters rise even more? Experts say yes. Irma could be bigger and more destructive than prior major storms, with its surge reaching inland and disrupting house wiring and causing fires. Stay safe Floridians!

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Irma’s worst damage could be from storm surge forcing seawater inland

he biggest danger to life and property from Hurricane Irma could come from storm surge that forces seawater inland, which could topple houses, isolate residents who don’t evacuate and make drowning an imminent threat, the National Hurricane Center is warning.

Storm surge occurs when heavy winds push the ocean onto the land, and it’s a destructive feature of many cyclones and hurricanes, including Hurricane Harvey in Texas last month. Irma’s surge could top 12 feet in areas of the Florida coast, and some surge is predicted up and down the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The most severe storm surge is projected for a more than 200-mile stretch of southern Florida coast from Miami to north of Fort Myers, while the Florida Keys also are expected to see significant surge.

On Saturday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned residents that the storm surge would inundate houses.

The rising seas could cause fatalities among people who do not evacuate, hurricane center storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome said.

“We evacuate for storm surge, not wind,” Rhome said. “People don’t understand the water. You’re not going to get out and swim away. It’s got waves on it, it’s got debris in it. Get out quickly.”

The hurricane center is forecasting that storm surge could be the most dramatic in the Miami area and in Collier, Monroe and Lee counties, all of which could see surge higher than nine feet above ground. Storm surge could be noticeable 10 or more miles inland in some areas, with the depth of the water becoming shallower away from the coast, the center has said. 

Irma could be bigger and more destructive than prior major storms, with its surge reaching inland and disrupting house wiring and causing fires, Leatherman said.

The hurricane also has the potential to do considerable environmental damage to the fragile Everglades, parts of which are still recovering from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, he said.

Beach erosion is expected along the Florida coast, but Rhome of the hurricane center said there is a graver threat to coastal inhabitants.

“You’re talking about communities and areas inundated by salt water,” he said. “Beach erosion is the least of their concerns right now.” Source Chicago Tribune


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