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Hurricane Preparedness Awareness Week
May 23 - 29, 2010


Sunday    Monday    Tuesday    Wednesday    Thursday    Friday    Saturday


THIS WEEK HAS BEEN DECLARED NORTH CAROLINA'S HURRICANE AWARENESS
WEEK FOR 2010. ALL WEEK LONG THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL BE
ISSUING INFORMATIVE MESSAGES TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR HURRICANE
SEASON.

EACH DAY WE WILL COVER A DIFFERENT TOPIC. TODAY WE WILL TALK ABOUT
STORM SURGE WHICH POSES THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR LOSS OF LIFE
ALONG THE COAST. WE WILL ALSO TALK ABOUT MARINE SAFETY.

STORM SURGE...PUT SIMPLY...IS WATER THAT IS PUSHED TOWARD THE
SHORE BY THE FORCE OF THE SWIRLING WINDS AROUND A TROPICAL STORM
OR HURRICANE. THIS ADVANCING SURGE COMBINES WITH TIDES TO CREATE
THE HURRICANE STORM TIDE...WHICH CAN INCREASE THE MEAN WATER LEVEL
15 FEET OR MORE.

IN GENERAL...THE MORE INTENSE THE STORM...AND THE CLOSER THE BEACH
FRONT COMMUNITY IS TO THE RIGHT FRONT QUADRANT OF THE STORM...THE
LARGER THE SURGE WILL BE AND LARGER THE AREA THAT MAY HAVE TO
EVACUATE. THIS IS BECAUSE THE STORMS STRONGEST WINDS ARE LOCATED
IN THE RIGHT FRONT QUADRANT AND IT IS THESE STRONG WINDS THAT
DRIVE THE SURGE.

STORM SURGE IN NORTH CAROLINA IS A PROBLEM FOR EVERYONE OWNING
PROPERTY ALONG THE COAST. ALSO...AREAS ALONG THE PAMLICO AND
ALBEMARLE SOUNDS ARE VULNERABLE TO STORM SURGE. DURING HURRICANE
ISABEL IN 2003 AREAS ALONG THE LOWER NEUSE RIVER EXPERIENCE SOME
OF THE HIGHEST STORM SURGE. DEPENDING OF HOW THE STORM STRIKES THE
AREA...WATER FROM THE PAMLICO SOUND CAN BE PUSHED INLAND CAUSING
STORM SURGE TYPE FLOODING IN NEW BERN...WASHINGTON...AND
BELHAVEN...AS WELL AS MANY OTHER LOCATIONS.

WAVE ACTION AND DAMAGE...WAVE ACTION AND CURRENTS ASSOCIATED WITH
THE STORM SURGE ALSO CAUSE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE. WATER WEIGHS ABOUT
1,700 POUNDS PER CUBIC YARD. EXTENDED POUNDING BY FREQUENT WAVES
CAN DEMOLISH ANY STRUCTURE NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND
SUCH FORCES. DURING HURRICANE ISABEL...MANY STRUCTURES IN THE
HATTERAS VILLAGE AREA IN DARE COUNTY WERE TOTALLY DESTROYED BY THE
POUNDING OF 15 TO 20 FOOT WAVES ON TOP OF THE STORM TIDE. WAVE AND
CURRENT ACTION WILL ALSO COMBINE TO SEVERELY ERODE BEACHES AND
DESTROY COASTAL HIGHWAYS. MANY BUILDINGS MAY WITHSTAND THE
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS UNTIL THEIR FOUNDATIONS OR PILINGS BECOME
UNDERMINED BY EROSION...AT WHICH POINT THE STRUCTURE WEAKENS AND
FALLS. THOSE WITH PROPERTY ALONG THE COAST MUST ACT EARLY TO
SECURE HOMES.

IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT EVEN DISTANT TROPICAL STORMS
AND HURRICANES CAN SEND LARGE SWELLS TO THE AREA. THIS OFTEN LEADS
TO HIGH SURF AND LIFE THREATENING RIP CURRENTS EACH YEAR. BEACH
GOERS SHOULD MONITOR ROUTINE FORECASTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE FOR UPDATES ON THESE THREATS.

For additional information, check out the National Hurricane Center's Hurricane Awareness Website

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National Weather Service
Newport/Morehead City, NC Weather Forecast Office
533 Roberts Rd, Newport, NC 28570
(252) 223-5737
mhx.webmaster@noaa.gov
Page last modified: May 22, 2010
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