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Hurricanes, Risk and Hazard

  • By: Laura Kathryn Siebeneck
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Throughout history, hurricanes have been the leading cause of deaths associated with short-term natural hazards. Populations along coastal areas are exposed to a number of hurricane-related hazards, including, but not limited to, storm surge, high-speed winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and tornadoes. This entry explores the geography of hurricane risk in the United States and provides an overview of hazards associated with hurricane events.

Geography of Risk

An average of two hurricanes reaches the coast of the United States each year. In the United States, hurricanes most frequently make landfall along the shores of Eastern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina; however, coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Maine are also at risk. Hurricanes often span hundreds ...

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