The storm surge is a great dome of water often 50 miles wide, that sweeps across the coastline near the area where the eye of the hurricane makes landfall. The surge, aided by the hammering effect of breaking waves, acts like a giant bulldozer sweeping everything in its path. The stronger the hurricane, the higher the storm surge will be.
In some other parts of the world, this has proved to be the most dangerous part of a hurricane, causing nine out of ten fatalities. Owing to the infrequency of hurricanes in Hawaii, little is known about the possible heights and effects of the storm surge on our islands, but it must be regarded as a serious threat to life and property in our coastal areas.Many factors are involved in the formation and propagation of a storm surge, such as the strength and size of the storm, bottom conditions where the surge comes ashore, and the position of the storm center relative to the shore.
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