The director of the National Hurricane Center says it’s important for everyone in Mississippi to be prepared for tropical weather– even those of us who live a long way from the coast. Michael Brennan was in Jackson Wednesday as part of the Hurricane Awareness Tour which is traveling through the Gulf Coast states this week. Brennan says people understand the dangers of a hurricane’s winds and storm surge but he calls rainfall flooding from a tropical system “an underrated hazard which can occur not just at the coast but well inland across the entire state of Mississippi, hundreds of miles away from where a storm might hit the coast.”
Brennan says it doesn’t take a strong hurricane to cause a lot of inland flooding.
“It has a lot more to do with how fast a storm is moving, how long it rains in a given location, how saturated the ground is ahead of time. And you can have both flash flooding which develops very quickly or you can have prolonged river flooding that happens and can last days or weeks after a storm.”
Brennan says during tropical storms and hurricanes in the last ten years, more Americans have died because of rainfall flooding than from anything else.
The NHC director visited Jackson along with Air Force Reserve and NOAA crews who fly into hurricanes to gather information. Hurricane season begins June 1.
WC-130J Hurricane Hunter
NOAA P-3 Orion