Worst Florida damage from Irma in could be from storm surge - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Worst Florida damage from Irma in could be from storm surge

By PATRICK WHITTLE
Associated Press

The National Hurricane Center warns that the worst damage from Hurricane Irma could be from storm surge that could top 12 feet high in some areas of the Florida coast.

Storm surge occurs when heavy winds push the ocean onto the land and it's a destructive feature of many hurricanes and cyclones. The hurricane center says the most severe storm surge from Hurricane Irma is possible along a more than 200-mile stretch of southern Florida coast from Miami to north of Fort Myers.

The service also expects the Florida Keys to see significant storm surge. Hurricane center storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome says the surge could cause fatalities among people who don't evacuate.

Experts say rising sea levels from climate change could make storm surge a few inches higher in some areas.

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