A Methodology to Inject Sea-Level-Rise-Enhanced Storm Surge Modeling into the Long-Range Comprehensive Plans of Coastal Communities
Fraziers, Tim G.; Yarnal, Brent; Wood, Nathan
This project implemented a comprehensive vulnerability assessment framework that used mapping and stakeholder input to create long-range land-use plans that took into account sea-level rise. They compared regular storm surge maps with sea-level-rise-enhanced storm surge maps in Sarasota, Florida, which is in the county with the second oldest population in the nation. The researchers used the SLOSH model with sea-level rise to predict flood inundation. They found that the storm surge inundation area increased and doubled the number of vulnerable elderly people. When looking at mitigating and planning for the future, they found that a category five hurricane places the entire population of the county in the storm surge zone. Using tax parcel information, the researchers found that several communities would not be very resilient since most of the buildings are in the storm surge zone. The researchers separated focus groups into planners, engineers, environmental advocates and business managers, and assigned them the task of looking at the hazard and finding solutions. When the groups saw the storm surge maps, they concluded that location of development was not appropriate. Overall the groups felt that the current urban plan needed to be revised and that urban boundaries should be relaxed to encourage development in less hazardous zones. The community also needed to relocate infrastructure and develop alternative evacuation routes in response to the impacts expected from sea-level rise.