Storm surge was not something one sees growing up in the tornado alley that cuts across north Mississippi. Judge Senter, I’ve noted, also comes from that part of the State – accounting in some part, no doubt, for his clear understanding of the damage wind alone can do.
No one has to grow up in a coastal area to understand storm surge..
Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more. In addition, wind driven waves are superimposed on the storm tide. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding in coastal areas, particularly when the storm tide coincides with the normal high tides. Because much of the United States’ densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level, the danger from storm tides is tremendous.
However, IMO, there is a distinct difference in the common use of the words storm surge and the description and graphic from the National Hurricane Center – a distinction, simply stated, in water pushed toward the shore and the often resulting flooding. The distinction is “wind driven waves” and the lack of same as water goes inland.
Wind driven waves deliver a power punch as the water comes on shore; but, as Sop has explained to me off-blog, as the water goes inland “think of filling a bathtub”. The McIntosh property was four miles inland, reportedly, and more if you drive from the Beau Rivage, the start-point of my effort to locate the property on a map.
With water on both sides, the area experienced stronger wind than it would have had otherwise; but, not the wave action that caused the destruction at the shoreline.
The property took on rain water as the wind created openings in the structure hours before enough water from the surge had flowed inland to the level of flooding required to enter the structure.
Two videos found on You Tube are helping in understanding the difference between wind driven surge water and the rising water of flooding.