DOTD to host series of storm surge modeling updates
Friday, June 13, 2008 at 1:06:09 PM

Contact: Jim Mitchell

What: Storm surge modeling updates

Meeting 1

When: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Monday, June 16
Where: DOTD Headquarters Auditorium, 1201 Capitol Access Road, Baton Rouge

Meeting 2

When: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Monday, June 16
Where: NOAA Building, 646 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette

Meeting 3

When: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 17
Where: Council Chamber, Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government Building, 7868 Main,Houma

Who: Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development in conjunction with the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Presentations will be made by:

Dr. Stephen Baig, National Hurricane Center/NOAA
Dr. Will Shaffer, NWS/NOAA
Dr. Roy Dokka, LSU Center for Geoinformatics

The workshops are designed to educate state and local officials regarding coastal storm surge hazards brought to light by updated elevation mapping in south Louisiana. New elevation data of the entire southeast Louisiana hurricane protection system have been compiled by the LSU Center for Geoinformatics for DOTD. State-of-the-art 3-D positioning was made possible using LSU’s GULFNet real-time Global Positioning System Network. Elevation data were measured on more than 750 miles of levees, floodwalls, sheetpiles, and 1,000 miles of roads. The new data are now used by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) to update their storm surge modeling for coastal Louisiana, including the New Orleans and Houma metropolitan areas.

To utilize these recent elevation measurements, the National Weather Service has updated its SLOSH model database. NHC then performed a simulation study using the updated model, finding the surge elevations generated for many thousands of hypothetical hurricanes. Drs. Baig and Shaffer will present results from the study, showing continued vulnerability of the New Orleans and Houma areas to hurricane storm surge.