Storm Surge

Storm surge is the #1 potential killer from a hurricane, and not so long ago it was the #1 killer from hurricanes (inland flooding--like with Hurricane Floyd in 1999--has that distinction now).  Effective evacuations have lowered the fatalities from storm surge in the last 30+ years, but its potential for destruction and loss of life makes it one of the prime reasons (if not THE reason) for mandatory evacuations when a hurricane is threatening.  Storm surge is the abnormal rise of the ocean surface due largely to the high winds (and partly from the low pressure) from a hurricane.  When Hurricane Hazel made landfall near Calabash on October 15, 1954, the storm surge at Ocean Isle Beach was 18 feet!  (that doesn't include waves on top!)

To see if you're proned to storm surge flooding along the North Carolina coast, visit this web site.