Top 3 Most Dangerous Aspects of a Hurricane

With their high-speed winds and torrential downpours, hurricanes create a host of problems for the areas they impact. Even the smallest of hurricanes can cause widespread damage and, tragically, claim innocent lives. Knowing which elements of a hurricane are most dangerous, however, can help those caught in the path of these storms protect their properties, wallets, and families.

1. Storm Surges

A storm surge occurs when water rises above sea level and beyond the anticipated high tide. Since hurricanes usually hit coastal regions the hardest, storm surges are a primary source of hurricane damage. This is especially problematic for cities that sit just a few feet above sea level, as even a small surge can lead to substantial flooding.

2. Floods

Whereas storm surges affect only those living on the coast, floodwaters can appear anywhere. Hurricanes often cause flash flooding, a common result of heavy rainfall or rising waters in rivers, lakes, and other inland bodies of water.

3. Tornadoes

Hurricanes cause strong straight-line winds, but many people don’t realize that tornadoes are just as much of a threat. Although not every hurricane produces tornadoes, those that do tend to create numerous smaller twisters, rather than wide, long-lasting ones.

As they continue to grow in frequency and intensity, hurricanes pose an increasingly significant risk to coastal homes, businesses, and lives. Being aware of their potential damages, though, can improve preparation efforts and minimize catastrophic hurricane damage.