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Hurricane season: What are the dangers?

Hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions can be devastating. Here are some of the dangers.
Credit: Scott Olson
GALVESTON, TX: Eddie Settlocker checks damage caused by Hurricane Ike at an apartment complex he manages September 14, 2008 in Galveston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

People all along the Gulf coast should know the dangers of hurricane season. Whether wind, flooding, storm surge, rip currents or tornadoes, these systems can be devastating.

Below, from the National Hurricane Center, are some of the hazards associated with tropical systems that you should be aware of. 

Storm surge

Storm surge is historically the leading hurricane-related cause of death in the United States. It's the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds.  Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. it can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.

Flooding

Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities during tropical weather. These storms can cause flooding hundreds of miles inland and can last for days.  

Winds

Winds associated with tropical systems can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. It can also turn items outside into flying missiles. 

Tornadoes

Tornadoes can be whipped up by tropical systems. They typically happen in rain bands far from the eye of the storm.

Waves

The storm can generate deadly rip currents, beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline. Tropical systems can cause damaging waves even when the storm is more than 1,000 miles offshore.