Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flood-alert System Eased Fears At Texas Medical Center

Date:
September 26, 2008
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
A long-term collaboration between Rice University and the Texas Medical Center paid off during Ike when researchers predicted accurately that Brays Bayou would not overflow its banks.

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) was close to flooding during and after Hurricane Ike, but a long-term collaboration with Rice University paid off by calming fears of the kind of deluge that caused extensive damage during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.

Related Articles


With stunning accuracy, Rice researchers predicted the peak surge of Houston's Brays Bayou during and immediately after Ike, despite power outages that shut down the university's computing center at a critical time.

"The TMC was very happy about how well the system worked and the fact that we were able to pull this off via a long-distance connection," said Phil Bedient, Rice's Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and a widely known expert on flood warning and storm surges. "They were very concerned, because if the medical center had gone under, it would have been a mess."

Bedient, who with the TMC set up a real-time flood alert system in the years since Allison, saw that effort pay off during the storm. "We absolutely nailed it," he said. Having lost power at his own Houston home, Bedient spent a long night during Ike evaluating radar rainfall data coming by phone from the National Weather Service's radar through Vieux & Associates Inc. in Oklahoma and calling medical center officials with his predictions.

"Brays was two feet from going over its banks," he said. "The measured water flow in the bayou was 25,500 cubic feet per second. We had predicted 26,800, and we predicted it to occur at almost exactly the same time." The bayou, which runs just to the south of the medical center, floods at 29,000 cubic feet per second, he said.

"If we'd gotten another inch or two, the bayou would have gone over," said Bedient. "And that inch or two could have come hours later."

Bedient and his colleagues at the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster Center (SSPEED) are working to extend those same predictive capabilities to all of Greater Houston. SSPEED is an organization of Gulf Coast universities, emergency managers and public and private partners formed to address deficiencies in storm prediction, disaster planning and evacuations from New Orleans to Brownsville.

The goal, said Bedient, is to provide authorities with information from a new flood-prediction tool while there's still time to save lives and property. If a road is likely to go under or a bridge may be washed over, officials will get the word quickly.

"We love meteorologists, but they always look up, and they don't look down," he said. "We're doing the evaluation down here on the ground, where the meteorology meets the road."

SSPEED will host a major conference at Rice on severe storm prediction and global climate impact Oct. 29-31. For information, visit the Web site at http://hydrology.rice.edu/sspeed/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Flood-alert System Eased Fears At Texas Medical Center." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926143747.htm>.
Rice University. (2008, September 26). Flood-alert System Eased Fears At Texas Medical Center. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926143747.htm
Rice University. "Flood-alert System Eased Fears At Texas Medical Center." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926143747.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Models in Masks Highlight Indonesian Environmental Devastation

Models in Masks Highlight Indonesian Environmental Devastation

AFP (Mar. 31, 2015) Wearing gas masks and designer dresses, models condemn the fashion industry&apos;s role in causing environmental devastation. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Architects Show Off 3D House-Building Prowess

Dutch Architects Show Off 3D House-Building Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) Dutch architects are constructing a 3D-printed canal-side home, which they hope will spark an environmental revolution in the house-building industry. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Stops in China

Solar Plane Stops in China

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) Solar Impulse 2 stops over in China&apos;s Chonqing, completing the fifth leg in its bid to become the first solar powered plane to travel around the globe. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Impulse Lands in China After 20-Hour Flight from Myanmar

Solar Impulse Lands in China After 20-Hour Flight from Myanmar

AFP (Mar. 31, 2015) Solar Impulse 2 lands in China, the world&apos;s biggest carbon emitter, completing the fifth leg of its landmark global circumnavigation powered solely by the sun. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins