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Water is the deadliest during big storms. New Orleans is already flooded and a storm surge could come

"There is a danger of flooding life-threatening storm surges along the southern and southeastern coasts of Louisiana," said the National Weather Service.

Barry should land as a major storm on Saturday. As in the cyclones of the past, the biggest danger may not be the high speed winds, but the water that comes from the ocean.

The increase in water levels, called storm surge, occurs when the winds of a violent storm push water towards the shore.

Storm surges can reach several feet tall, and forecasters have said that Barry could cause up to 4 to 6 feet of storm surge in parts of Louisiana and across the Mississippi border. and Alabama, announced the meteorological service.

But that could change if the storm intensified. Forecasters said that the stronger the storm, the stronger the winds and the stronger the storm.

Once the ocean has crashed on land, it can also exacerbate floods. Rivers and streams that usually flow into the ocean can be clogged further upstream, forcing the water level to rise. This usually leads to more floods in areas soaked by rain.

The rising waters is the deadliest part of a storm

In the approach of a big storm, many people worry about wind and debris. But the water brought by the storm kills most people.

Water accounted for more than 75% of all hurricane-related deaths in the United States between 1963 and 2012, according to a report from the National Hurricane Center. About half of the hurricane deaths are due to a storm surge.

The wind was responsible for only 8% of all deaths.

According to Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, more than 80% of storm-related deaths over the last three years have been linked to flooding on the land.
"The data is very clear, it's the water that kills people," Graham told CNN affiliate, KPLC. "It's not because you're not on the coast that you're immune to the dangers."

Dakin Andone, Steve Almasy and Holly Yan of CNN contributed to this report.

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