Irma's 15-Foot Storm Surge Could Demolish 1,000 Miles Of Florida Coast: "It Will Cover Your House"

Tyler Durden's picture

As we noted on Friday, sea-level analytics firm Climate Central had created a simulation based on the National Hurricane Center’s Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment storm surge and wave modeling that illustrated the devastating flooding in Miami that could result from Hurricane Irma’s storm surge. By overlaying the NHC data with a three-dimensional visual of the city obtained using Google maps, the firm created a realistic visual of what the city would look like under between seven and 11 feet of water.

Luckily, in the last minute the Hurricane shifted westward, but the concerns remain.

Given the expected intensity of the flooding, some readers might assume that the dreaded surge would be the result of tsunami-like waves overwhelming the city’s beaches. But that’s not the case. As the Associated Press explains, the hurricane-force winds draw in water not just form the ocean, but other nearby bodies of water as well. However, forecasters say surges kill more people than the strong winds.

As Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned, the surge "will cover your house." Already, at least three Floridians have died in the Keys.

“It's not a wall of water or a tsunami. Simply put, hurricane winds push water toward shore. It can happen quickly and far from a storm's center, inundating areas that don't typically flood.


Storm surge doesn't just come from the ocean. It can come from sounds, bays and lakes, sometimes well inland.”

And with a category four Hurricane like Irma, the water can rise quickly, creating a potentially lethal surprise.

“Large hurricanes tend to create greater storm surge over a broader area, and coastal features such as bays can act like funnels and back water up into rivers and canals, said Jamie Rhome, head of the U.S. National Hurricane Center's storm surge unit.


‘This is going to sneak up on people,’ Rhome said.”

But while the surge levels in Miami could be potentially life threatening, the threat to the Florida Keys, where Irma this morning made landfall at Cudjoe Key, is even more severe.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts water levels up to 15 feet (4 meters) above ground for the chain of islands and parts of the Gulf Coast, which are also expected to receive up to 25 inches of rain. And according to the Associated Press, the flooding threat could extend far beyond the path of Irma's eye. The Atlantic coast from Miami to Isle of Palms, South Carolina, could see up to 6 feet (2 meters) of storm surge.

Irma’s surge could ultimately flood 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of coastline from Tampa Bay to the mid-South Carolina coast. Much of that land is less than 10 feet (3 meters) above sea level.

Much of Florida's southwest coast is uninhabited swampland, including a large section of Everglades National Park, but scientists warned the Everglades wouldn’t stop the flooding of affluent communities nearby, including Naples, the home of Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Forecasters say the surge will kill more people than the strong winds. Scott said it "will cover your house."

"The Everglades won't stop the potential flooding to inhabited areas," Rhome said.

In fact, some forecasters believe the storm will leave Naples underwater.

“The hurricane center's storm surge maps, showing deep inundation for Naples, worried Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.


Look at Naples, the entire town of Naples is underwater,’ Klotzbach said. ‘That is horrible. God that looks awful.’”

North of Naples is the Tampa Bay area, which is also at risk of extensive flooding related to the surge. About 3 million people live in the area, which has a Busch Gardens theme park and baseball spring training grounds for the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.

Already, the tide in Tampa Bay is going out, setting up the shoreline for a massive surge as Irma approaches.

A similar phenomenon occurred in Key West, as receding oceans left boats stranded on dry land.



Over the past fifty years, storm surges have accounted for about half of the deaths from hurricanes, tropical storms and cyclones in the US over the last half-century, according to a hurricane center study.

During the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, the surge helped destroy nearly half the structures along a 40-mile (64 kilometer) stretch of the Florida Keys, killing more than 400 people, including World War I veterans working on a railway project. During Hurricane Katrina, storm surge flooding of up to 28 feet above normal tide directly or indirectly causing at least 1,500 deaths. Hurricane Sandy, which was technically classified as a post-tropical cyclone when it made landfall in New Jersey in 2012, was still large enough to drive catastrophic storm-surge related flooding along the New Jersey and New York coastlines.

* * *

With Irma having made landfall in the Keys just hours ago – though the first hurricane force squalls were felt late last night as the storm approached – Bloomberg is reporting that Florida Power & Light Company said that nearly 1.1 million customers statewide were without power Sunday morning, according to Bloomberg.  About 574,000 of those outages were in Miami-Dade County, while there were 360,000 in Broward and nearly 136,000 in Palm Beach County. The effects are being felt far from the center of the storm, due to its size.

Just before Irma’s landfall, Enki Research disaster modeler Chuck Watson said the storm’s trek up Florida’s coast could cost $192 billion and threatens $2 trillion of property. Total losses from Katrina reached $160 billion in 2017 dollars. Irma is “easily on track to be the new No. 1 storm unless intensity collapses,” Watson said. President Donald Trump said Irma is “a storm of enormous destructive power” while discussing preparations with his Cabinet.

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BabaLooey's picture

Yeah Yeah...we'll see.

The computer modeals have all been wrong.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Surge………This is going to sneak up on people. 

That’s right.

Then, you add another 10 inches of rain.

It will be devastating.


38BWD22's picture



SitRep Orlando:

14 MPH winds, some gusts, medium rains.

They expect 75 MPH late today, ending tomorrow AM or so (or mid-day, just checked the cone).

Note Orlando is closer to the Atlantic than the Gulf.


38BWD22's picture



I-4 has NO TRAFFIC (Orlando, near Disney), we can see it from our hotel window.

Does that count?


(People who have been to Orlando know how bad the traffic can be)

Swampster's picture


curbjob's picture

There will still be less fatalities from this hurricane than from a single drone strike on a ME wedding party.

Perspective is everything . 

Bigly's picture

I want to know if the SHED made it via last night's live web cam at the southernmost point in key kept on taking the pounding

greenskeeper carl's picture

There was a feed from Dante's too. Ive spent a lot of time in that place. Glad I just went recently. That place got it bad.

Lumberjack's picture

President Trump’s and Richard Branson’s Caribbean homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Yog Soggoth's picture

If Branson dies, then so does David Icke, because they are one and the same.

HowdyDoody's picture

Oh, the poor delicate little flower, having to hunker down in a concrete wine cellar. I wonder how much wine was 'lost' as a result of the storm.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

IRMA's 15-Foot Storm Surge Could Demolish 1,000 Miles Of Florida Coast: "It Will Cover Your House"

Below is information that I presented in an earlier post. People thought it was BS!!! Below is a credible video where I picked up the information.

Video Reference: (Video Length: 5:07)

Information begins at video time marker 3:57





38BWD22's picture



Wouldn't that give us a smile, Joseph (Jose) destroys Baal's temple.


Anteater's picture

Then Hurricane Mary spun all the Moloch worshippers' gold prill

offerings in Joseph's wreckage into a gleaming tangle form with its

'arms' extended and 'blood' dripping from its 'palms', as Satanists

fled through the streets, chased by the howling mobs of Catholics.

And Trump gazing down from his Bullion Room at Trump Mahal,

gloating, because he had diverted the aid package to Mar-a-Lago,

and a big PAC donation to the Masonic Jesuit Order he belongs to.


I would pay to watch that on NetFlix!

lasvegaspersona's picture

So seems to me, after reading you a while, that you despise anyone who does not worship your god exactly as you do?

Do you fear god's wrath if we are not all on the same page?...YOUR page?

Demanding this kind of group think, with no room for accomadation for slight variation in understanding, sets us up for a purge of heretics.

It is an old strategy, sometimes successful but I don't like it.

If tragedy strikes and you survive then you will believe you were right. If you do not suvive then someone else will crow that HIS god is the true one.

This kind of believing is really not helpful in better understanding the world. It just keeps those who have authority from losing that authority.

Give it some thought...if you can.

BandGap's picture

Have family on Marco Island. They lost power a little over and hour ago. They are 22 floors up.

Everything not tied down is a missile.

Yog Soggoth's picture

Developers never should have been allowed to build anything there. The south end of the island is a giant indian mound and the whole island is an indian burial ground. Hope they make it.

Yog Soggoth's picture

It's  been a long time since you said something I completly agree with. You must have been around one of these before, or your one of those Brazilheads invading my State.

cheech_wizard's picture

Especially that "European" one the Weather Channel was using...

As to your downvoters - point to the computer models that have been correct... It would have been easier to take a ruler and draw a straight line on a map...


Ballin D's picture

The problem with weather models is that they're trained on historical data but the global warming hysteria has gotten so far out of control that scientists are brazenly manipulating the source weather data (changing sampling methods, imputing inappropriate values, etc). The model is going to react as if everything is on like terms because it doesn't know it's being fed fiction.


Similar to financial models breaking down in the new normal. Made up inflation, unemployment, and interest rate inputs negatively impact the reliability of the prediction.

Is-Be's picture

Is your advice then that people should stay?

One assumes that you live far from the problem.

Winston Churchill's picture

Pollsters and weathermen unite, how long before its Putins' fault.

Dilluminati's picture

You have to be quick, but take your metal detector and run out and find some spanish gold doubloons when the tide goes out in Hurricaines and Tsunami's and then get back in the car and drive fast.  Send the coins to me.

Yog Soggoth's picture

Stop reading my mind. You get none.

DogeCoin's picture

This storm must be making all the Keysensians wet over how much fiat they get to print.

grasha87's picture

I have a solution to the problem of the monetary system based on debt which cause recessions. It's called the wallark, and is a currency based on Say's law:

cheech_wizard's picture

I read that the first time you posted it. Now fuck off.


PlayMoney's picture

My house was 23 feet above sea level in Katrina....and i got 4 feet of water. Hurricanes don't play....take them serious.

Dilluminati's picture

If you are going to do something stupid however search for the

Escrava Isaura's picture


Go sell your crap someplace else.


Oliver Klozoff's picture


(There's always a first time for everything.)

Dilluminati's picture

I'd actually like to have those coins, not willing to pay the nuemistic premium.  However after storms like the one that is coming through, advances in detection equipment and computer assisted search will probably uncover some wrecks and possibly put a new cache of 15th/16th century coins on market.  Nothing lost in putting them at that price and awaiting a sucker to buy.. 

Pharma Villain Martin Shkreli Paid Millions For The Mysterious Wu-Tang Album
Escrava Isaura's picture

Got luck getting that across to stubborn people.


malek's picture

And be extra cautious when nihilists offer you help...

cheech_wizard's picture

Did you leave the tub running?

purplelama's picture

People still think Katrina hit New Orleans, when in reality it hit the landmass between New Orleans and Mobile.

38BWD22's picture



Correct.  Coastal Mississippi got the Cat 4 winds.  New Orleans was on the (relatively) "clean side".

Still Cat 3 scale winds in a place like New O would be a huge problem, even now.  Parts of New O are BELOW sea level.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Ya it came ashore right at the MS/LA border. Southern MS got it bad, but the indignant black people in new orleans got all the press coverage. Staying behind in a city thats below sea level is beyond idiotic. Actually, even living there in the first place is idiotic.


You drive through some neighborhoods in MS and there are still slabs sitting there from people that never rebuilt. It also remade the flooding maps. A lot of people who weren't in flood zones and didn't have flood insurance lost everything.

Anteater's picture

What happened to the $50B for Katrina victims?

Oh, yeah, it rebuilt the rich neighborhoods, and the

rest went to Mil.Gov salary COLAs, OT and pensions.

This wil be a Harvey/Irma/Jose trifecta for Mil.Gov.

Tiwin's picture

30 year storm chaser here. The motel I stayed in for cat2 georges 1998 was demolished and washed away by Katrina-which I wisely avoided. the real damage of Katrina was all in your neighborhood , not in New Orleans.

chubbar's picture

I've never heard such breathless doom porn. Give it a fucking break already. This will flood some streets, blow over some trees, some idiots will die doing stupid shit but other than that, this is a nothing burger. Christ, 6 million people left Miami for nothing but a strong wind storm, they aren't going to be convinced to do that again, imo.

Now Cuba and the outer Carribean Island chain, they got an ass whacking that they won't soon recover from.

sheikurbootie's picture

Yes and no.

The reports say that 1 million customers in Miami area are already without power. 

2 tornadoes.

A crane in Miami that is supposed to handle 145 mph winds toppled.  Miami is still getting hit.  Feet of rain, it's a sea level city.  Right quad of hurricane is the highest amount of water.

It's never a good idea to stay in place.  Many folks in Katrina were warned and decided to stay.  All of them said that was the stupidest idea they've ever made in life. 

If you make it through the storm you'll likely still be without electricity/water and will have to deal with flooding.


greenskeeper carl's picture

He does make a point though. Many people who were convinced their house was going to be destroyed will come back see little damage. THey will think this was overhyped and may decide to stay in the future during an actual direct hit.

az_patriot's picture

ZH is Doom Porn central.  People come here looking for the next economic or social collapse.  They read some hype, chatter about how awful things are, how wise they are, and how much they hate Trump, and then have their Doomgasm and leave until they're ready to go at it again.  They trolls are particularly repulsive because they won't clean up after themselves when they're done.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

Some come here to brag about making $7k a week.

az_patriot's picture

That, too.  If they actually made $7k a week they wouldn't be trolling ZH.

Pure Evil's picture

Doomgasm........what a laugh riot.............oops, thar she blows...........anybody got a box of Kleenex..........I'd be more than happy to pay $7K for it which of course I made last week using that trolls super duper system............ShepWave