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Due to recent compound flood events such as Hurricane Harvey (2017), Hurricane Florence 2018), and Hurricane Sally (2020), inundation studies have transitioned from single flood hazards toward multi-hazard flood modeling approaches. A compound flood is a flooding event that encompasses multiple flood hazards (e.g., precipitation, overland runoff, riverine flow, storm surge, waves, and astronomical tides) that can co-occur or be in close succession. Assessments of compound flood events require the simulation of multiple flood hazards within a single modeling framework. However, current inundation models cannot accurately quantify numerous flood hazards during a compound flood event. Thus, scientists and engineers must couple different inundation models, observations, and/or statistics to describe each flood hazard during a compound flood event.

Recently, Puerto Rico has been impacted by two compound flood events (Maria in 2017 and Fiona in 2022) that have brought extreme rainfall amounts and high storm surges along the coast. However, the island does not account for a compound flood modeling framework capable of hindcast or forecasting this type of event to produce compound inundation maps. Thus, helping authorities, first responders, and the government enhances their flood resiliency measures to avoid the loss of lives and property damage. The proposed project will serve as a first attempt to assess compound inundation along the coastal watersheds of Puerto Rico.

Team Members

Dr. Felix Santiago-Collazo, Dr. Matthew Bilskie, and Orlando Viloria Marimon