Transcript for Hurricane Force - A Coastal Perspective, segment 02 of 12


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America's hurricane-prone coasts stretch for over four thousand miles. Populations on these coasts have exploded to more than eighty million people. In spite of this, improved hurricane tracking and warning systems have greatly reduced the loss of life due to these storms. Nevertheless, hurricane property losses have escalated. Property destruction by hurricanes frequently results from high winds and, to a lesser extent, from flooding due to heavy rains. While, historically, coastal flooding and wave attack known as storm surge has been a hurricane's chief threat to life and property in low-lying coastal regions, coastal development, coastal resources, and the natural environment are in jeopardy. Fragile habitats such as reefs and wetlands are particularly vulnerable. Mounting human pressures on the coastal zone add need and urgency to better understanding the range of forces shaping America's coasts from the day to day work of tides to the work of great storms and hurricanes. Coastal geologists with the Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey, have teamed with other scientists to study the impacts of hurricanes on America's coasts as part of a larger effort to understand erosion and the causes of coastal change. This film focuses on the varied impact of hurricanes on distinct coastal types, including Hurricane Andrew's nineteen ninety-two impact on coastal Louisiana, Hurricane Hugo's nineteen eighty-nine impact on the Puerto Rican island Culebra, and Hurricane Iniki's nineteen ninety-two impact on the Hawaiian island Kauai.