National Hurricane Center unveils storm surge-risk map

Hurricane_Katrina_August_28_2005_NASA copyGULF COAST — A new online mapping tool from the National Hurricane Center shows the risks of storm surge from Texas to Maine.

The hurricane center launched the interactive map Tuesday. It allows residents along the East and Gulf coasts to evaluate their vulnerability to storm surge by showing how far inland the water can reach during a variety of hurricane scenarios.

According to the hurricane center, storm surge is responsible for about half of all tropical weather-related deaths in the U.S.

Hurricane center officials say roughly 22 million U.S. residents are vulnerable to storm surge, especially in Florida where about 40 percent of residents are at risk of flooding.

Director Rick Knabb says the map should prompt coastal residents to determine whether they live in evacuation zones and to make emergency plans.

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