Sandy's Lessons: Beware The Surge

Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 9:36am

Hurricane Sandy's massive and unexpected storm surge has changed the way forecasters view storms. Jay Gray reports.

(NBC News) It's been almost a year since Hurricane Sandy ravaged much of the East Coast, and many of the hardest hit communities are still in ruins.

As the recovery moves forward, scientists and forecasters continue to study the effects and data from Sandy, and that information has already changed the way they will deal with future storms.

"What we're learning is that we have to improve the way we communicate the threat, the risk," says National Hurricane Center storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome.

In the wake of Sandy the National Hurricane Center has completely revamped the way it shares critical information with the public.

Scientific terms have been replaced by straight talk about the potential danger of a storm, while cities have expanded their evacuation zones.

"Storm surge is our greatest threat when we're talking about hurricanes," says Miami-Dade Emergency Management Director Curt Sommerhoff. "We've now got 1.9 million of our 2.5 million residents living in storm surge planning areas."

Scientists also want to make sure those in the path of a storm know where to go to escape storm surge.

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