Storm surge is one of the most damaging effects of hurricanes. It is caused by the winds from the storm pushing ocean water inland, combined with low atmospheric pressure, which allows water to rise higher.
In addition to the damage caused by flooding alone, the effects of storm surge are compounded by wave action. Structures (or natural features) that could handle being submerged may not be able to handle being pounded by waves, and the high water levels and strong winds allow the wave to reach much further inland and strike with more force than they otherwise would.
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