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Inland Flooding a Deadly Threat with Hurricanes

By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
October 29, 2012; 9:31 AM ET

While ferocious winds are usually the first association with hurricanes, the most deadly threat with hurricanes is often inland flooding.

Flooding can occur from the coast to several hundreds of miles inland due to the tropical downpours from hurricanes.

There is more friction once a hurricane or tropical storm pushes inland, causing the circulation of the tropical system to begin to collapse. This results in more rising air, towering clouds and thus heavy to excessive rainfall. Flash flooding results the heavy rain, which can fall in the matter of hours.

If a system is very slow-moving once it pushes inland, then there can be even more flooding problems.

A study that examined 1970-1999 found that more than half of tropical storm and hurricane deaths are due to flooding. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of children killed by hurricanes drown in flood waters.

If you are ordered to evacuate ahead of a hurricane, do so immediately and do not risk your life.

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