Storm Surge

If Hurricane Hazel Hit Today...

While the debate rages on about the cause of sea level rise and if human activity is speeding up the process, the phenomena itself is not a new coastal hazard. Scientists have plenty of evidence that ocean levels rise and fall several times over thousands of years. Scientists have pretty strong evidence the seas are rising again. What makes sea level change so significant now is that there are many more of us living near the coast. And, as the report by the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission's Science Panel says, “over time it exacerbates existing coastal hazards.”

Surging Water Warnings

Storm surge is not a giant wave like a tsunami, but it is the gradual piling up of water along the coast. It is often the most damaging effect of a hurricane, but is not often clearly understood and it is not easy to predict. New research, and a new computer program developed by the UNC Institute of Marine Science, is helping solve the problem.