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    Hurricane Damage: High Winds, Tornadoes, Storm Surge

    By By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
    May 30, 2011, 1:47:55 AM EDT

    "When a hurricane comes ashore, the strong winds will shove water toward the coast."

    As the hurricane season begins, there are many weather events the storms can trigger. High winds, storm surge, flooding and tornadoes are all possible with a hurricane.

    High Winds

    The most common occurrence with a hurricane is the high winds. Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir-Simpson scale from a Category 1 with wind speeds of 74-95 mph to a Category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of greater than 155 mph. These winds can cause damage to homes, trees, fences and other outdoor structures. The glass in your home should be protected when a hurricane is predicted in your area.

    Storm Surge

    Storm surge is another danger associated with hurricanes. Areas along the coast are where storm surge impacts occur. When a hurricane comes ashore, the strong winds will shove water toward the coast. The water will build up until it is able to flow over the land. This will cause coastal flooding.

    Bays and inlets are more prone to flooding than coast lines that curve outward. When storm surge happens it can cause a large amount of damage to homes close to the coast and can also cause loss of life to people who can be swept out to sea. When landfall from a hurricane is expected, moving away from coastal areas is the best way to keep safe.


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    Flooding

    The heavy rain that accompanies hurricanes can also cause inland flooding. Streams and lakes can overflow their banks and flood homes close to them. Severe flooding can occur if the hurricane moves ashore and is downgraded to a tropical depression. The storm can move slowly and drop several inches of rain. Many people will use sandbags to protect their homes from possible flood damage. Other times, it is best to evacuate to higher ground.

    Tornadoes

    Hurricanes and the high winds associated with them frequently are able to spawn tornadoes. The tornadoes most often occur as the hurricane makes landfall.

    They are most common with intense hurricanes or hurricanes that are intensifying as they approach the coastline. When there is a danger of a tornado in your area, you should make sure you are in the lowest level of a sturdy building or, again, evacuate the area.

    When hurricanes become a danger, pay close attention to all weather warnings and take the proper precautions to minimize damage to you property or harm to you and your family.

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