- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) - An expert on storm surge spoke in Raleigh as residents prepare for hurricane season, which starts June 1.

Jamie Rhome of the National Hurricane Center was at the North Carolina Emergency Operation Center on Thursday to demonstrate new tools the hurricane center is developing to help people better see and understand a storm’s flood potential, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported (https://bit.ly/27Ha8Av).

“How do we get people to understand that it’s water, not wind, that’s killing them,” Rhome said.

One of the tools presented were digital maps that show where storm surge flooding is expected along the coast. The maps will be featured on the hurricane center’s website, along with other information about the expected path and wind speeds of a particular storm.

According to Rhome, the maps will be regularly updated, and local officials will be able to access them to make decisions about evacuations and road closures.

“This will make your life so much easier and so much faster,” Rhome told the group.

Another tool is a storm surge watch and warning system that will show where “life-threatening” flooding is possible, signaling to people that they need to do something to protect themselves, such as evacuate.

“This is an amazing tool to have,” said Drew Pearson, the emergency management director in Dare County. “It’s going to be life-saving. It has that potential.”

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, https://pilotonline.com


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