In low-lying coastal locations a temporary increase in sea level associated with the approach and landfall of storms with significantly high winds and low central pressure can cause significant damage. Sea level rises in response to low pressure as it passes over ocean surfaces. Additionally, the upper portion of the water column is pushed into waves by the high winds. Storm surges can be more than 5 m above the normal high tide (Rappaport, 1994). In some areas such as bays coupled with low-lying deltas, like the Bay of Bengal and the mouth of the Ganges, where storm energy is concentrated, storm surges can reach high levels causing significant flooding (Frank and Husain, 1971; Murty and Neralla, 1992). Barrier islands are also susceptible to flooding by storm surges. Development on barrier islands along the southeastern coast of North America has led to rising property damage related to storms.
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