According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a hurricane is an organized thunderstorm that occurs over water and has sustained winds that reach maximum speeds over 74 miles per hour. These storms originate over the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. When they reach land, they often cause structural damage and flooding.
When a hurricane makes landfall along a coastline, it brings heavy rain that often leads to major flooding, according to The Weather Channel. This rain can stretch for hundreds of miles past the location where the storm originally hits land, and the hardest-hit areas often receive up to 10 inches of rain. Another occurrence during a hurricane is the storm surge, which is the rapid rise in the water level at the coast. This is mostly caused by the high winds of the hurricane, and it leads to damage to homes and other structures built near the coast line.
The high winds that occur during hurricanes are incredibly dangerous, reaching speeds of up to 155 miles per hour in the worse cases. High winds cause damage to power lines, destruction of trees and severe damage to homes and buildings from flying debris.