The summer months are usually spent near beaches and coastal areas for the warm weather and cool environment. However, these months are also part of the hurricane season, especially in the Atlantic.
Hurricanes can bring strong and intense winds causing the tide to rise abnormally high resulting in a storm surge. As the sea level rises, it provides a base from which the storm surge builds upon creating an avenue for coastal flooding.
The power and strength of coastal flooding comes from the intensity of the storm. Uncontrollable winds create waves that intensify with speed until it hits the beaches.
There are three coastal flooding levels:
Minor: The least dangerous level. Roads are not expected to close while homes and other buildings should be safe from the storm. These levels are measured based on the amount of water rising versus the average level of tide within the area.
Moderate: Above average coastal flooding with the potential to cause roads to shut down. Personal residences and property can be threatened. Moderate beach erosion can take place. Safety precautions should be taken to minimize damage and risk.
Major: Serious threat to people residing within the coastal flooding area. Roads will shut down, houses and property will experience enormous damage and evacuations are necessary.
The National Weather Service also issues two types of alerts, one for possible coastal flooding within 12-36 hours called the Coastal Flood Watch. When coastal flooding is expected to occur or is imminent within 12 hours, this alert is regarded as a Coastal Flood Warning.
Every year millions of Americans experience some type of loss from coastal flooding. Over the past few years, powerful storms such as Hurricane Irene have reached inland faster and further than previous storms. Natural disasters are difficult to prepare for but taking precautionary measures while treating alerts seriously and recognizing flooding levels of storms can help save lives and minimize damage.
Water damage can be one of the worst events to attack your home, and in order to prepare for an emergency the best bet is to get a sump pump. Getting the water out as fast as possible can be the difference in saving your home and material property. Don’t get caught out in the rain.