I think it is natural human curiosity to want to see our natural world when it is altered by weather. I base this assumption on the number of weather documentaries and large crowds of people who flock to the beach during storms. However majestic those large crashing waves look, we all need to remember that storm charged surf can be very, very dangerous.
When a storm or hurricane passes off short it creates storm surge. This is an increased tide caused by the pressure of the winds around the storm. The
National Weather Service has a really good webpage that illustrates this.
Waves are very powerful and heavy. According to the National Weather Service water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard. This is strong enough to damage buildings, and can more than certainly knock you off your feet into the surf. You can be pulled away from shore or pushed back on to it.
Despite the draw of going to look at the rough surf - please refrain from doing so. During storm surge it is best to stay away from the beach. Rescue personnel are very busy rescuing people who do not heed warnings and can only reasonably put their lives in so much jeopardy before they have to call off a potential rescue.
Sometimes our desire to see things in action overshadows our need for caution. Hurricane season is upon us. During the next storm when you think how cool it would be to see, swim in, or surf the waves think of the power of storm surge and skip the trip to the beach.