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With or without a storm surge, strong, high waves, caused by the wind moving across the surface of the water, can cause havoc along the coast, quickly eroding the foundations and/or damaging the walls of structures close to shore.

In addition, high waves crashing over sea walls and over the ironshore can cause serious inland flooding. This type of wave action was particularly problematic along the Pedro Bluff and Northwest Point in Grand Cayman and the South Side of Cayman Brac during Hurricane Mitch in 1998, causing flooding inland as well as on the coast. Areas subject to strong wave action include the west, south west, south and north coasts of Grand Cayman (Northwest Point and Seven Mile Beach/West Bay peninsula, South Sound, Prospect Point, Pedro and North Side).