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UA researchers studying how communities can better respond to flooding

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:56 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA , Ala. (WBRC) - University of Alabama researchers are conducting a flood study that can help communities better prepare for it. The timing for this couldn’t be better, with all the recent flooding West Alabama has gotten. Some people are still dealing with the aftermath of flood damage.

The UA researchers hope this study can enhance flood resilience of not only coastal communities, but areas like ours, that can still get the back end of storms. University of Alabama Center for Complex Hydro Systems is working to develop a framework that creates an opportunity to forecast hurricane-driven flooding on a close to real-time basis.

Researchers will pinpoint flooding hotspots along the Southeast and provide a responsive way for emergency responders and city leaders to better prepare for flooding from tropical cyclones.

They’ve found the current system of hurricane categories is only wind-based and does not take flooding into account, which can leave room for miscommunication of hazards and risks. “The ability to cope with the bad situations that you expect. So, if they experience that situation again, another hurricane, another tropical cyclone, how they can deal with that? Are they able to cope with that quickly? Should they escape? Should they just evacuate,” said Dr. Hamid Moradkhani, director of CCHR and UA professor of Hydrology.

This research project will also create flood hazard maps and flood forecasting tools emergency management personnel can use to best locate resources ahead of a storm.

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