83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 1:30 PM
Tropical Cyclone Floods in Florida: Geographical Influences and Community Preparedness
Arlene G. Laing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
It is recognized that floods and associated landslides are among the mostly deadly aspects of tropical cyclones. While hurricane landfalls occur more often in the southeastern and the panhandle regions of Florida, the entire state is vulnerable to flooding caused by tropical cyclones. Hurricanes do not have to make landfall in order to wreak havoc as was evident in 1985 when Hurricane Elena caused widespread flooding along Florida's west coast as it meandered in the Gulf of Mexico. This study investigates the impact of local geographical traits on flood potential and community response to the hazard.

Of particular interest are, antecedent conditions (rainfall, terrain and land use, community mitigation strategy); mesoscale aspects of hurricane rainfall (spatial distribution of rainfall, the impact of topography and local circulations); adequacy of quantitative precipitation forecasts (amounts and timing of maximum rainfall intensity); and community preparedness (implementation of community warning systems for floods and other hurricane hazards). The results will be used to provide guidance on warning systems, public education programs, land use and community planning with the ultimate aim of reduction of hurricane hazards.

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