Hurricane Ian, which is anticipated to make landfall in Florida this week, is anticipated to bring Tampa a potentially hazardous storm surge of up to 10 feet. “This is no joke—this is a life-threatening storm surge” in coastal Pinellas County, close to Tampa. This is how a storm surge operates: Water levels rise as pressure decreases in the hurricane’s center. While the storm is still over the open ocean, the water builds up.
This is how a storm surge operates: Ian Hurricane
When a hurricane approaches land, its powerful winds push the water in that area toward the coast and up onto the land, sometimes forming 20-foot-high water walls. The surge of water that can quickly flood homes and topple walls is a threat to people inside coastal homes.
According to the National Hurricane Center, at least 1,500 people perished during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 “directly or indirectly as a result of the storm surge.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York and New Jersey in 2012, many homes quickly filled with water that rose to 8 to 9 feet in height. The risks can increase when high tides and storm surge combine to raise water levels dramatically.
It looks dangerous, and Florida is already on alert. This will take lives and can impact millions and billions in a loss. Moreover, life matters. The most important thing is to save the life from the Ian hurricane.