Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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803 NOUS41 KCAR 190954 PNSCAR MEZ001>006-010-011-015>017-029>032-192200- 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: $$ $$ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.