Lake Ontario 2017 Spring Flooding Event and Coastal Hazards
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. EDT
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In the spring of 2017, water levels on Lake Ontario exceeded historic elevations leading to flood and erosion damages lake wide. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) competed new coastal flood hazard modeling and mapping for the Lake Ontario communities in New York only a year earlier. This project was part of the first ever comprehensive and detailed coastal hazard analysis for the Great Lakes shorelines. FEMA coordinated with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to collect data related to the impacts of the high lake levels. Using drone technology, the USGS collected aerial photography and topographic data. This captured shoreline erosion and flooding impacts from the unprecedented lake levels. The USGS also collected shoreline high water marks along the shorelines. FEMA is using this data to validate modeling used in the coastal hazard study by simulating the spring flood event and comparing the results to the USGS data collection. Validated modeling is being used to evaluate the coastal hazard mapping and is available to support disaster related mitigation projects enhancing community resilience to future lake flooding. Fortunately, a large storm with severe storm surge and/or large damaging waves did not accompany the high lake levels. Nonetheless, communities should be aware that if a large storm had occurred, the level of flooding and erosion could have been much more severe. The presentation will highlight the data collected and results of the modeling validation of the spring 2017 event. This collected and modeled data can inform mitigation efforts aimed at reducing future similar events.
Bill Nechamen, email@example.com