The most dangerous and destructive part of a tropical cyclone isn’t the wind or rain; it’s the storm surge of water moving inland. This landward shift of ocean takes place because of a cyclone’s strong winds, which drive the water via shear. The depth storm surges reach depends on the wind speed and direction, shape of the shoreline, and many other factors, making exact predictions difficult.
Fortunately, engineers can — with enough foresight and investment — build structures and networks to help protect developed land from storm surge flooding. (Image and video credit: Practical Engineering)