P9.9 The Texas Flash Flood Coalition: Finding Key Solutions in the United States' Deadliest "Flash Flood Alley"

Thursday, 14 October 2010
Grand Mesa Ballroom ABC (Hyatt Regency Tech Center)
Hector Guerrero, NOAA/NWS, San Angelo, TX; and R. Sedwick, P. Showalter, D. Maidment, B. Rose, H. Sharif, L. McGinnis, and P. Yura

The Texas Flash Flood Coalition was formed in the fall of 2007 in response to an abnormally high number of flood fatalities that year. The Coalition is comprised of over thirty stakeholders from academia, media, private-business, local, state and federal government. Many of the stakeholders are located in Texas' "Flash Flood Alley," which extends along the Balcones Escarpment and Interstate 35 from Del Rio through San Antonio and Austin to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Other stakeholders are from Harris County and the city of Houston, which have also experienced many fatalities.

Texas had more than twice the number of flood fatalities (840) between 1959-2008 as the next ranked state. In addition to the fatalities the costs associated with swift water rescues can run into the millions of dollars. To address the problem of flood fatalities the Coalition felt an urgency to build upon the National Weather Service's Turn Around Don't Drown® campaign by organizing strategic work groups in the areas of education, warning and communication, and research related to geoscience, social science, and technology.

Best practices and challenges addressed by the the Coalition since its inception in 2007 will be presented. The outcomes of two extremely productive conferences will also be discussed. Results from these conferences are being used to enable the Coalition to leverage partnerships and resources to deal with the deadly flash flood problem in Texas.

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