Since it has seen so much threat of weather damage recently, people on the East Coast should breathe a sigh of relief now that a new mapping tool has been unveiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to the Miami Herald, this map, accessible on a subset of the NOAA website, shows possible storm surge scenarios in different areas of the US all along the coast. It stretches from the Northeast all the way into the center of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. Tabs allow users to see the depth of storm surge inundation in all of these areas based on the possible strength of a hurricane.
For example, a Category 1 hurricane during high tide would generally have an inundation depth higher than three feet at spots all along the coast, if even that (the one exception being the port of New Orleans).
But in the case of a Category 5, inundation at levels of nine feet or more is possible from North Carolina all the way to Brownsville in the south of Texas.
Outside the scope of this map, the danger for flooding could even extend to states in the Midwest. A statement from the University of Iowa quotes assistant professor Gabriele Villarini, who said that, judging from data collected over a thirty year period, coastal weather has far-reaching consequences.
"When you hear about hurricanes or tropical cyclones you think about storm surges and wind damage near the coast," she states. ""But it's much more than that. Flooding from a single tropical cyclone often impacts 10 to 15 states located hundreds of miles from the coast and covering a wide area."
This is why insurance companies need claims outsourcing support in the case of any storm, not just ones that are the closest to their areas.