Storm Surge

Arial  photography shows that most of the damage was done by the storm surge, rather than by wind. Roof damage is caused by wind, but houses getting washed away is caused by water.  Category four winds would have removed just about all the roofs, and knocked down most of the trees.

Drone footage shows Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida town where it made landfall

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41 Responses to Storm Surge

  1. sunsettommy says:

    Storm surge damage was obvious, especially near the end of the video where entire homes WASHED away but trees in the yards of those missing homes are still standing mostly straight up., hardly any of them blown down.

  2. JCalvertN(UK) says:

    In my experience of strong hurricanes, every wall and window of every building is plastered with a complete mess of shredded leaves and a coating of fine unidentifiable plant fibres. And none of the shrubs and trees have any leaves left on them.

    • garyh845 says:

      Indeed – pic I took the day after Hurricane Gilbert in Cozumel, MX 1988.

      Moved from the beach to a few blocks inland earlier in the evening prior to landfall – a two story reinforced concrete block building with concrete bathtub roof. Building was going no where in up to 226 mph gusts – but the big window did – huge branch came in and left just as quickly. Ended up with a wind packed wet leaf-twig mulch in a corner of the room – bla. Hotel we’d been in on the beach – was demolished.

  3. Frank K. says:

    I remember visiting Charleston, SC about a year or so after Hugo. The tree devastation as you approached the low country and beach areas was unbelievable. But that was back in late 80s, early 90s – before hurricanes became really powerful…

    • Louis Hooffstetter says:

      For years after, we affectionately referred to the Francis Marion National Forest as the “Francis Marion National Brush Pile”.

    • Gamecock says:

      Another thing about Hugo was the catastrophic damage ranged all the way up to Myrtle Beach from Charleston. This Mega Cat 4, Michael, seemed to have damaged on a very narrow front.

      • cdquarles says:

        There was catastrophic damage from Hugo as far inland as Charlotte, NC.

        • Gamecock says:

          10-4. I was in Charlotte.

          3 AM, watching water come around my front door, 6 feet up. Surreal.

          One of my employees was without power for 11 days, and without water for 14. In the city. Next door to Charlotte Country Day. Our office was at South Park, 2 miles from where he lived. He tried to walk in, but couldn’t make it. Every which way he turned he was blocked by police guarding downed power lines.

          I got away with just no power for 3 days. Friends came over to take showers, as I had gas water heater.

          Mad scramble to find ice to keep my 1-year old son’s formula. I should have packed up the family and sent them off to my parents, a hundred miles away and undamaged. I was management and needed to stay.

          Big cul de sac party to cook all our refrigerated/freezer food on 2nd evening, as temps in them got to high to preserve food.

          Interesting time.

  4. AndyDC says:

    This storm was supposedly as strong as Andrew, but if you look at the devastation from Andrew, even well inland, it makes the wind damage from Michael look like child’s play. Of course with Camille, no comparison at all.

  5. NavarreAggie says:

    I think the fallacy (and this is mostly NOAA’s fault) is equating maximum wind speed with storm damage potential. A fully developed storm with an eyewall completely surrounded by 155 mph winds does not have the same damage potential as a storm that has a small portion​ of the NE quadrant with 155 mph winds.

    • Gamecock says:

      True. And I would caution that trying to determine storm strength from damage is like determining how fast a car was going by damage in a crash.

      • Rah says:

        However damage is exactly what Saffir-Simpson tries to estimate based on windspeeds and what is used to classify tornadoes for the EF scale.

        • NavarreAggie says:

          This was not always the case, however. Pressure and storm surge effects were originally part of the scale until NOAA removed them in 2009. Now, the only focus is on wind speed. As such, people often equate wind speed with total damage potential, and the relationship is obviously more complex than that.

  6. DH says:

    Another video of damage from Michael:

    Some places with no damage next to places with damage. Lots of water damage.

  7. Charles Straw says:

    The so-called Hurricane Michael coverage on tonight’s ABC national news was typically ham-fisted and peculiar — the broadcast opened with regular bland news guy David Muir doing hurricane “play by play” from an open door helicopter of some sort (“Yes, here I am flying over the unprecedented destruction caused by the near-category five hurricane damage which has been nearly Biblical in it’s dedicated quest to destroy Earth and other nearby planets”)

    Then Muir handed coverage over to Ginger Renee Colonomos (AKA Ginger Zee) who (for some untold reason) had locked herself and her crew inside a fleabag Florida hotel near the coast…she claimed to have seen an entire house tumbling end-over-end (due to Hurricane Michael) — the supporting video showed no house or tumbling. Then they cut to Ginger walking eerily on the beach, and she continued to stress that she had “never seen a hurricane so strong that it would make house tumble”

    Ginger is basically click bait to attract frisky hurricane buffs.
    She certainly does not appear to ever know what she’s talking about…

  8. Griff says:

    And storm surge caused the damage in how many of those previous hurricane photos you posted to show they were ‘worse’? In the Galveston pics, that would have been storm surge, yes?

    Really this explaining away hurricanes is beginning to read like something out of 1984

    • Rah says:

      There is no need to “explain away”. They are comparing Michael to Andrew and any honest person that was alive and aware when that little monster came ashore knows they’re full of it.

    • Louis Hooffstetter says:

      Griff, the point you’re missing is that Michael was way over-hyped. Compared to powerful hurricanes like Camille, Andrew, or the Galveston hurricane, the damage was minimal, almost insignificant. Michael was these storms as a kitten is to a pride of lions. It clearly wasn’t the “Worst Ever!”

      When you grow up on the gulf coast or the south east coast of the US, you get a proper perspective. Hurricanes are an inevitable fact of life. You only get hit every 20 years or so, but you need to be just as prepared for a hurricane as you are for winter. Wailing and gnashing your teeth is useless. And if/when you get hit, you roll up your sleeves and work with your neighbors to rebuild (with better building codes).

    • TimA says:

      “Really this explaining away hurricanes is beginning to read like something out of 1984″….”pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”…and you’re covering for Big Brother why?

    • Steven Fraser says:

      Griff: Its a discussion of comparative damage.

      Compare the current pix of damage and fatality with this Wikipedia description of Andrew (Cat 5, 1992):

      ‘Passing directly through the city of Homestead in Dade County (now known as Miami-Dade County), it stripped many homes of all but their concrete foundations. In total, it destroyed more than 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others, caused $27.3 billion in damage,[nb 1] and left 65 people dead.’

      In the following weeks, additional assessment will reveal the extent of what was real about this Hurricane, including surge and winds.

    • Andy says:


      The media hypes it up and Tony downplays it. Tony downplays it too much IMHO, but there you go, it is his blog.

      As I have shown in my post on this thread there was real cat 4 or 5 wind damage, as per photo’s and also measured central pressures of 920MB cannot give a small wind ;)

      There is a happy medium on hurricanes. Tony did provide an interesting point about sustained winds and measured gusts. Certainly a lot of science still to be done on them.

      Not sure why this blog downplays hurricanes so much, get them as they come and judge them as they were. Already people on the other sideare defending the NHC for not giving enough warning, but it did bubble up fast.

      The fascinating thing is that with Florence and Michael we had two hurricanes completely different on how they developed and steered. In short order. Really fascinating as a layman watching.


      • Gamecock says:

        Yes, I noted that Florence came from my northeast, while Michael came from my southwest. Virtually same line, but completely opposite directions.

      • Louis Hooffstetter says:

        I’ve experienced or seen the damage caused by about a dozen hurricanes and I’ve always been amazed at how unique they are. In Charleston, SC, the storm surge from Irma was as high as it was from Hugo. Yet Irma went up the gulf coast of Florida and missed us completely while Hugo hit us head on.

        Despite the fact that the media constantly over hypes them, never take a hurricane for granted. If the wind speed is 100 mph or more, get out!

      • Robert Austin says:


        If alarmists didn’t relate each and every hurricane to climate change, there would be much less incentive for Tony to examine the inflated hurricane classification and damage claims. Witness the viral video during Florence with the newscaster being “blown around” by the alleged high winds while a couple of citizens strolled by in the background.

    • Disillusioned says:

      “Really this explaining away hurricanes is beginning to read like something out of 1984”

      What part of, it’s a tropical cyclone in an area of the country that historically gets tropical cyclones at this time of year, do you not understand?

      Your desperate attempts at trying to twist what’s normal and expected into something that is abnormal is the only part that reads like 1984.

      • Colorado Wellington says:

        It is 1984.

        Ms Griff just marched back from Two Minutes Hate. She threw her shoe at Tony’s picture.

        Everything is better now.

      • Anon says:


        /Your desperate attempts at trying to twist what’s normal and expected into something that is abnormal is the only part that reads like 1984./

        That is spot on… Griff somehow believes he is living in some unique time in human history… and that Hurricanes are somehow now different than they were a 100 years ago (think about how twisted that is – lol)… it takes a pretty wise person to realize that they are just living an average life in an average age. But from what you see from the CAGW side, it explains why so many people buy into “end time theologies”.

  9. Andy says:

    On the other hand,

    This is not the work of a mild zephyr .. this is cat 4 at least, no storm surge here

    That’s at Tydnall AFB which was closer to the eye

    • Gamecock says:

      “this is cat 4 at least”

      Speculation. Do you have a calibration std for bent pine trees?

      It was a hurricane, Andy. Hurricanes do this sort of stuff.

      I don’t know what species of pines those are. Planted pines around here are usually Pinus taeda, loblolly. In 70 mph winds, they snap off, well above the base. The pines in the Tydnall (sic) pix bent at the base and had spiral fractures, but did not break off. On seeing the first linked pic, my mind said the trees show LESS THAN even Cat 1 wind speeds, but it could be the species there just reacts differently to wind.

      BWTM: Several pines still erect suggests the winds weren’t so high. Leading me to think that the bent over trees were in fact pushed over by storm surge, and not wind. I’ve seen wind damaged pines; I have no experience with storm surge damaged pines. Those don’t look like wind damaged pines.

    • AndyDC says:

      There’s lots of tree damage, but relatively minor damage to structures. With Andrew, it was as if a huge tornado went through. Buildings flattened or ripped off their foundations. I admit, a 920 mb pressure is very impressive, but damage does not seem to measure up, for whatever reason.

  10. Larry Geiger says:

    Doesn’t downplay hurricanes. Just wants accurate reporting. Accurate reporting, of course, is almost impossible to find these days. Hype, hype, hype!

    And, yes, there is a difference between wind damage and storm surge damage.

    • Andy says:

      “Doesn’t downplay hurricanes.”

      He’s downplaying this one. Like he downplayed Florence, which is fair enough, we need a different viewpoint to the mass.

      To say this site is just “neutral” is fucking ridiculous though. This website is a sea anchor on a liferaft tossed about by the waves full of Larry’s who do not like being tossed about


      • spike55 says:

        You , little-andy are NOTHING but a piece of slimy flotsam, sucked in by the leftist whirlpool.

        This blog is straight down the line, it looks at facts and data, in an attempt to counterbalance to the moronic HYPE of the far-left media.

        You are the only one tossing.!!

        This was a hurricane, plain and simple.

        The storm surge and the winds did some damage.

        Hurricanes much bigger and more destructive have happened in the past, and will in the future.

        But the media are HYPING “normal” hurricanes to try to back up a FAILING leftist totalitarian agenda….

        …. and that is the REAL ISSUE.

      • Colorado Wellington says:

        Which chemical compound makes you talk like that, Andy-Andy?

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