Professor joins national study on growing dangers of urban flooding

illustration of flooding in a major city

Illustration: Research Communications and Public Relations

Flooding has always been a growing concern in the Houston/Galveston region as well as in other cities around the nation.  It seems to worsen as cities develop without consideration for flood planning as they grow.

Sam Brody, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences and the director of the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at the Galveston Campus of Texas A&M University, as well as a nationally known authority on environmental planning, has been appointed to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee to study and draft a report on urban flooding.  This report should have a significant influence on national flood policy.

The committee aims to organize a series of case studies to explore the issue of urban flooding in three to eight metropolitan areas in the United States.  These sessions will provide information from government agencies and other relevant stakeholders responsible for flood control, flood response, recovery and mitigation in relation to urban flooding.

This group will provide critical information on how big is the problem of flooding is in each metropolitan area, how bad floods can be or have been and how much do floods cost?  They will also study what the worst impacts of flooding are on human life and property, how flooding can be avoided or mitigated, who is affected most by floods in metropolitan areas and which regions in a metropolitan area sees the longest lasting or most costly effects of flooding.

Based on the information gathered, the committee will produce a report that finds any common or different problems in urban flooding, effective ways to lessen or avoid flooding and the overall impacts to each individual metropolitan area.

The committee will relate their findings to existing federal resources or policies, such as the National Flood Insurance Program, non-disaster grants and Stafford Act authorities among others.

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