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Friday, February 26th, 2021

DHS S&T funding to aid development of flood hazard modeling process

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Deltares USA and Deltares have secured $950,000 in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) funds to develop a flood hazard modeling process.

The endeavor, which officials said would utilize open source data, models, and software, is in accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) goal to build a culture of preparedness while reducing fatalities and property losses from flood disasters.

“Flooding is one of the United States’ and the world’s most costly and frequent disasters,” David Alexander, S&T senior Science Advisor, said. “To solve this complex problem requires broadening our research collaborations, pushing the edge of current science and technology, and driving new innovation. DHS S&T is very excited to launch this research effort with Deltares USA in support of FEMA, first responders, and the larger flood risk management, insurance, and catastrophic modeling stakeholders.”

The work is slated to start with a workshop for community and DHS stakeholders, examining and defining needs, capabilities, and desired outcomes. The workshop information serves to inform the development of the process model, which would be validated against historical events and hypothetical storm scenarios and tested against a prototype configuration.

Authorities said compound flood events result when rain-driven inland flooding combines with storm surge flooding, adding the complex and unpredictable nature of severe weather is challenging when developing a plan to protect a community from such flooding.