Storm Surge

Hurricanes can produce tidal flooding 8 feet or higher in Newport News depending on a variety of conditions.

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm such as a hurricane. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide. Storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds moving cyclonically around the storm. The power of surge, battering waves, and water weight can demolish any structure not specifically designed to withstand such forces. Hurricane Isabel (2003) is a prime example of the damage and devastation that can be caused by storm surge to our region. Isabel storm surge values of more than 8 feet flooded rivers that flowed into the Chesapeake Bay across Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. causing more than 3 billion dollars in damages.