Archived Story

Storm surge is focus of meeting

Published 11:01pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Area emergency-management personnel and media representatives will be among those in a storm-surge focus group meeting in Washington scheduled for April 10.
The meeting is slated to begin at 9 a.m. at the N.C. Estuarium.
The meeting, set up by the National Weather Service, is designed to gather input from those who use NWS services and information during hurricanes. Similar meetings are expected to be held in other locations along the North Carolina coast.
“The National Weather Service has been very good in the past at allowing us input opportunities to their future products, and I am pleased this relationship continues today,” wrote John Pack, Beaufort County’s emergency-services coordinator in an email.
“At the meetings, we would like to ask you some questions about these new NWS products and get your input on how to integrate them into local communications about storm surge. We also want to hear what else you need from the NWS to do your job better,” reads a letter from Richard Bandy, the meteorologist in charge of the NWS office in Newport. “You will benefit from hearing first-hand how these products were developed and how they can help you better communicate the threat of a potential storm surge in your community. Your participation will help the NWS foresee potential barriers in implementing these tools and ensure their effectiveness. Your feedback will also help the NWS better serve you in the future.”
During a hurricane, storm surge is usually the greatest threat to life and property, according to NWS, which is concerned that despite increasingly accurate storm forecasting, many coastal residents do not take protective measures for storm surge.
During the past 18 months, NWS developed several prototype storm-surge maps that indicated where and how deep storm surge is expected to be in a given area during a hurricane. After some refining, NWS is preparing to use these maps for communities vulnerable to hurricanes.
NWS is seeking input on these maps from the focus groups.

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