- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia emergency management officials have created a new tool to help coastal residents assess the risks of rising water in a storm surge.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says the Geographic Information System map provides users with the maximum storm surge risk at their current location or elsewhere.

Jeff Stern is the state coordinator of emergency management. He says the map presents a worst-case scenario of storm surge, but he stressed it’s not a real-time tool.

Storm surge is the abnormal and dangerous rise of water over and above the tide. It is pushed to shore by high winds, typically a hurricane or tropical storm.

The localities shown on the map include Virginia’s coastal areas. They include Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore, among others.

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