Hurricane inundation maps show areas that may experience flooding during a tropical storm or hurricane. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) uses the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) to predict storm surge and winds and create hurricane inundation maps. These maps estimate the flooding that may occur for Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, and Category 4 hurricanes. They also helped define the hurricane evacuation zones.
Massachusetts residents who live or work in a coastal community or near a river or other waterway that connects to the ocean should review their communities’ inundation maps and hurricane evacuation zones to determine their flood risk. These maps are based on storm surge models, but each storm is different and actual impacts can vary. It is important to prepare for the next highest hurricane category.