What is storm surge?

Storm surge warnings: Life-threatening, will cover a house

MIAMI – The storm surge is called dangerous and life-threatening, but what exactly is it?

It's not a wall of water or a tsunami. Simply put, hurricane winds push water toward shore. It can happen quickly and far from a storm's center, inundating areas that don't typically flood.

Storm surge doesn't just come from the ocean. It can come from bays and lakes, sometimes well inland.

Jamie Rhome, head of the U.S. National Hurricane Center's storm surge unit, says large hurricanes tend to create greater storm surge over a broader area, and coastal features, such as bays and inlets, can act like funnels and back water up into rivers and canals.

[RELATED:  See Candace Campos' explanation in video player above]

Forecasters say storm surge kills more people than the strong winds.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says it "will cover your house."

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