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What is storm surge? And, why should I care about it?

Storm surge can endanger you and your family, and you might not even understand what it is. Let us explain.

TAMPA, Fla. — It's no doubt that Tampa Bay is a stunning place to call home, but hurricane season can have those who live along the coast hanging on the edge of our seats.

When a storm is approaching, maximum sustained wind speeds tend to be a big focus. They speak to the storm's strength and potential for damage. However, it's actually water that is the number one killer during a hurricane. One way it takes many lives is through storm surge.

Storm surge is defined as an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, such as a tropical cyclone or hurricane. That is why storm surge is actually one of the major risks in Tampa Bay during hurricane season, especially for those living along the coast, where the water surges in.

LIVE BLOG: Hurricane Dorian to become major hurricane over next few days

As a storm approaches, the National Hurricane Center stresses that you take evacuation orders seriously. They're put in place to protect the lives of you and your family.

Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge near where its center comes ashore. Although there's still a large cone of uncertainty regarding Dorian's path, we're expecting the hurricane to make landfall somewhere along the east coast of Florida. Click here for the latest information regarding Hurricane Dorian's path and intensity.

LATEST: Hurricane Dorian could be powerful Category 4 storm by the time it nears Florida

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