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Are river channels affected by a storm surge?

The following question is the second of two from a public body dedicated to disaster planning and preparedness:

- Are river channels affected by a storm surge?

-Do they cause flooding in areas far from seashore lines?

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Storm surge is a coastal phenomenon either associated with storms or tsunami.

River Estuaries can be affected (The Thames Barrier in London protects from storm surge) but generally not much further upstream. This extent can be roughly determined by the limit of the influence of the tide on water levels in the river.

The extent of storm surge once it hits land is really determined by the topography - water will cover low lying flat areas as water will be pushed onshore by the storm. Water will generally only stop when it reaches higher ground. The US government models the risk and severity of storm surge to local communities for the National Flood Insurance Program. Internationally other governments also have similar programs to warn the public.

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Further examples of storm surge barriers on rivers are listed here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_barrier

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Asked:
2013-12-06 10:59:48 -0600
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Last updated:
Dec 09 '13