In Brief

Stunning Weather Channel Video Shows Why Storm Surges Are So Dangerous

A National Hurricane Center graphic shows where significant storm surges are likely.
A National Hurricane Center graphic shows where significant storm surges are likely. (Image credit: NOAA)

A hurricane can kill you in a lot of different ways. And even though meteorologists sort storms into categories by the strength of their winds, it's actually the storm surge that's most dangerous, as AccuWeather reported.

Hurricanes can push masses of water from the sea over land when they come ashore, raising local sea levels by as much as 20 feet (6 meters), according to the National Hurricane Center. But even much lower flood levels can be dangerous and reach surprisingly far inland, as The Weather Channel demonstrated in a stunning video released today. [Hurricane Florence: Photos of a Monster Storm]

Using computer graphics The Weather Channel showed how far inland Hurricane Florence's surge can reach, following low-lying streams. Florence, a storm expected to significantly impact the U.S. Southeast, is expected to make landfall in the coming hours.

Reporter Erika Navarro explained that even low-seeming flood levels can be dangerous, and include dangerous detritus, chemicals and even electricity. As she did so, the walls of the studio seemed to disappear on-camera, replaced by rising floodwaters around her.

"If you find yourself here [in rising floodwaters], you need to get out," she said. "If you're told to go, you need to go. Listen to local officials, and make sure you heed their advice.

Originally published on Live Science.

Rafi Letzter
Staff Writer
Rafi joined Live Science in 2017. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of journalism. You can find his past science reporting at Inverse, Business Insider and Popular Science, and his past photojournalism on the Flash90 wire service and in the pages of The Courier Post of southern New Jersey.