NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation
Venice, LA, still with at least two to three feet of water two weeks after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge - 2005Damage to manufactured and mobile homes at Surfside Beach, SC, after Hurricane Hugo's storm surge - 1989Hard Rock Casino barge (Biloxi, MS) completely destroyed during Hurricane Katrina - 2005Treasure Bay Casino (Biloxi, MS) was moved completely off its moorings by the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina - 2005Damage caused by the Galveston Hurricane and storm surge: the greatest natural disaster in terms of loss of life in U.S. history (6,000 to 8,000 individuals died in this event) - 1900House in North Carolina damaged by 15-foot storm surge that came with Hurricane Floyd - 1999Damage to beach front homes on Dauphin Island, AL, due to storm surge from Hurricane Katrina - 2005Storm surge from Hurricane Carol lashes Rhode Island Yacht Club - 1969


Storm Surge

Preparing coastal communities for storm surge flooding




Causes of Coastal Flooding

Several factors contribute to coastal floods.

Coastal floods are extremely dangerous, and the combination of storm surge, tides, river inflow, and waves can cause severe damage.

Total Water Level = Storm Surge + Tide + Waves + Rivers + Other Additional Factors


Storm surge is the term used to describe an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides or wave conditions. Storm tide describes the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. The total water level from a storm is caused by all contributing factors, including surge, tide, waves, and rivers. This rise in total water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas, particularly when storm surge coincides with high tide. This occurrence makes the storm surge even more devastating.

Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide (courtesy of the COMET Program
Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide