Surge and flooding, not wind, said biggest tropical storm hazards

May 10, 2013 at 8:06 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 10 (UPI) -- While U.S. coastal residents mostly fear a hurricane's winds, it's storm surge and inland flooding that are the most deadly storm hazards, a meteorologist says.

They cause 85 percent to 90 percent of deaths attributed to tropical storm, Dan Brown, a senior hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center, said Friday.

"People do not see the threat from water that storms pose; they're so focused on the wind," the South Florida Sun Sentinel quoted him as saying during a hurricane preparedness conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

While all tropical systems hold numerous dangers including winds, heavy rains, surge and tornadoes, large battering waves and rip currents are hazards people tend to overlook, he said.

"A hurricane doesn't even need to be close or make landfall to cause these,""he said.

The week-long Governor's Hurricane Conference, the largest of its kind in the nation, concluded Friday.

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