Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Caribou ME
554 AM EDT Wed Jul 19 2017

The National Weather Service has declared the week of July 17th
through 21st, Hurricane Preparedness Week in Maine.  This is the
third in a series of five public information statements to be issued
by the National Weather Service Office in Caribou, ME containing
information on Hurricanes and Hurricane Preparedness.

STORM SURGE, WAVES, AND MARINE SAFETY

Storm surge is the deadliest hazard associated with hurricanes.  It
is a rise in the sea level produced by water being pushed toward the
shore by the force of the winds within a storm. Storm surge is not
just a coastal event. In some areas, the sea water can travel well
inland with devastating consequences.

Storm surge is strongly influenced by a hurricanes track, forward
motion, intensity and size. Changes in any of these storm
characteristics will significantly alter the amount of storm surge.

NOAAs National Hurricane Center website has links to improve access
and understanding of its storm surge products and services. The
Storm Surge Products section includes a decision support tool that
will take visitors step-by-step through storm surge forecasts and
information as a storm moves toward land.

Along the Maine coast, the greatest threat of damage from storm
surge lies in the beach areas south of Portland and in the Penobscot
and Machias Bay areas.

In addition to the speed and intensity of the hurricane, the level
of surge in a particular area is also determined by the slope of the
underwater topography and the shape of the coast line.

In northern New England, the greatest factor in determining the
effects of a storm surge is the timing of the surge with respect to
the astronomical tides.  If the storm surge hits at the time of low
tide, little if any coastal flooding will occur.  If, however, the
surge hits at high tide, considerable coastal flooding, beach
erosion, and other damage is possible.  Unfortunately, the exact
timing of landfall in northern New England is often difficult to
predict very far in advance, so plans should be made based on the
possibility the surge could strike at high tide.

Wave and current action associated with the tide also causes
extensive damage.  Water weighs approximately 1700 pounds per cubic
yard, and extended pounding by frequent waves can demolish any
structure not specifically designed to withstand such forces.  Waves
generated from distant or approaching storms can also present a
hazard to those who are near the ocean.  Strong rip currents can
carry even strong swimmers out to sea, and unexpected large waves
can wash people from rocks.

Hurricanes have been the cause of many maritime disasters and,
unfortunately, there is no single rule of thumb that can be used by
mariners to ensure safe separation from a hurricane at sea. In order
to minimize risk, mariners should allow for a large margin of
error in the hurricane track and intensity forecasts.

For those with boats, it`s important to plan ahead.  Know exactly
what you need to do and how long it will take you to accomplish the
necessary tasks.  Keep in mind that others will also be taking
preparatory actions too, so leave yourself additional time.

The 1938 hurricane that affected New England caused a 10 to 12 ft
surge in Narragansett and Buzzards Bays.

FACT FOR THE DAY:  The location with the greatest potential for
storm surge along the northern New England coast is the Penobscot
River near Bangor, Maine.  Computer model estimates indicate that
the funneling effect of the Penobscot Bay and River could lead to a
23 foot tide for a Category 3 hurricane moving north at 40 mph.

Now is the time to prepare for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/
http://www.ready.gov/evacuating-yourself-and-your-family
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/marine.php

$$

$$



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