Storm surges cause the maximum damage and fatalities in a hurricane. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, the strong storm surge pushed waters from the Gulf of Mexico far inland so much so that these overwhelmed the levees built to contain flooding in the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. 150 mph winds built 28-foot waves headed for the New Orleans area.
It is easy to understand how a storm surge causes damage; a surge travels farther inland than a regular high tide; it is carried forward by the wind and the storm tide which rides atop a high tide. So, basically we have a wall of water being pushed by high winds. The damage is severe when the storm surge rushes into land which has a gradual slope.Storm surges caused by Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes cause severe damage. Category 4 hurricanes arrive with wind speeds in the range of 131 mph and 155 mph. This can generate a storm tide up to eighteen feet high. So if the terrain is lower than the sea floor there is every chance that it can get flooded inland for more than a few miles; this cuts off the escape route for people staying in the coastal area.
When a storm arrives with winds higher than 155 mph, it is a category five hurricane and can whip up waves higher than eighteen feet. These hurricanes create storm surges that have massive potential for causing destruction to land and property not only close to the shore but also farther inland. A storm surge damages not only property but also natural resources; freshwater gets a large influx of seawater affecting fish behavior and their regeneration cycle. Oysters and shrimp are affected because there is a change in the salinity level in the water. Flowering plants inland that are intolerant to salt water suffer. Surges also push saltwater fishes into freshwater; these stay there and die or are carried back into the sea when the storm surge retreats.
Storm surges that are driven inland will cause surges in fresh water bodies such as lakes and streams; this can cause major destruction to property on the shore. Levees and dykes can be broken and low-lying areas of the town can be flooded.
David G. - July - 2018 - Sarasota, Florida
We wanted to self-install so we bought accordions and roll downs from Empire Construction.We measured our window and patio and sent Empire the specs.The shutters were an exact match.Installation is very doable for two reasonably mechanical people. In this case it was only one mechanical person and some extra hands. The accordions were a breeze as installation was mostly marking holes for spots, drilling holes, and screwing them in.Our accordions have locking pins that hold them open and act as a second lock when closed. Even if a projectile breaks the lock the rods will keep the shutters closed.These shutters are Bertha HV1. They are High Velocity Hurricane Zone Approved. Having seen a wide range of shutters we are extremely happy with the quality of the product we received!!
Jim J. - June - 2018 - Homestead , Florida
I installed fourteen aluminum accordion shutters which I purchased from Empire Construction.I could not be happier with my choice.The shutters are made very well and are powder-coated.The purchase included all of the required hardware which was powder-coated to match the shutters.The company is very customer-oriented.Michael and his staff were wonderful.They were attentive, helpful, and a delight to work with.The installation video on the website made the installation very easy.I highly recommend Empire Construction to anyone considering a purchase of hurricane shutters. Thanks again. Please say Hi to everyone,