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Reverse Storm Surge

Surviving a hurricane or two can definitely make anyone feel like a storm expert. After storm prepping, stockpiling food, water, gas and batteries, and hunkering down during the worst of the high winds and pounding rain, most residents feel empowered to face the next hurricane season with a certain level of expertise. This is because, even though hurricanes are big, powerful storms, they’re also predictable and can be anticipated. But what do Florida and Texas residents do when even the predictable storms act, well, unpredictably? Permacast Precast Concrete points to the unusual phenomenon that occurred in Florida in 2017 as an example of even predictable weather sometimes surprising us. During Hurricane Irma, the superstorm that swept Florida and sent thousands evacuating in the middle of the night, Tampa Bay experienced a reverse storm surge that intrigued locals and baffled scientists.

What is a Reverse Storm Surge?

Much like the storm surges we experience whenever a tropical storm or hurricane approaches Florida’s coastline, a reverse storm surge is the result of high hurricane winds moving Gulf waters. Usually, a storm surge occurs when a hurricane approaches the coastline. The high, intense winds push water ashore, causing extreme high tides and often flooding along the shoreline and nearby towns. With Hurricane Irma, however, the hurricane crawled up the center of the state from the south, rotating in a counterclockwise direction. As the powerful winds whipped from land towards Tampa Bay, the water was pushed out into the Gulf of Mexico from shore, instead of the other way around. 

What do I need to know about RSS?

While many curious locals took this opportunity to walk out on the dry bed that is typically covered by 8-10 feet (or more) of Gulf waters, experts recommend staying away from the Gulf floor while waters have temporarily receded. The novelty of seeing the Gulf bed, untouched shells and unique sea life can be enticing, it can also be extremely dangerous. Unlike the hurricane itself, storm surges- especially reverse storm surges- are highly unpredictable. The water can- and will- come rushing back without warning, refilling the area in a matter of minutes and drowning anyone standing in the way. 

How do I protect myself during RSS?

Of course, following the suggestions offered by experts is always wise during a time of confusion, natural disaster and chaos. But to be prepared ahead of time, we highly recommend reinforcing your residential and commercial properties with Permacast Precast Concrete Fences & Walls. Our walls and precast concrete fences are designed to withstand severe weather, hurricane-level storms, and flooding from storm surge- in either direction. While a reverse storm surge was an anomaly we don’t anticipate seeing often, regular storm surges are just as dangerous and destructive. These happen regularly during hurricane season, but when you’re prepared with reinforced precast concrete walls and fences, you don’t have to worry. 


Learn more about our storm-ready walls and fences that have been custom-built for each individual situation they encounter. Being created in-house means the precision needed to withstand harsh winds, rains and floodwaters is employed from the beginning every time. Rest assured that your Permacast Precast Concrete Fences & Walls are ready for every tropical storm, every hurricane, and every storm surge- even in reverse.