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2018 CONFERENCE | Urban Flooding & Infrastructure: Moving Forward from Harvey

Nearly 250 academics, engineers, representatives and concerned citizens attended the SSPEED Center’s conference, “Urban Flooding & Infrastructure: Moving Forward from Harvey” at Rice’s Bioscience Research Collaborative on February 21-22, 2018.


Speakers included Harris County Judge Emmett, “Flood Czar” Stephen Costello, National Hurricane Center Bill Read, USACE Jerry Cotter, Water Resources Policy Rob Rogers and Roy Wright of FEMA. Staff members from Representatives Culbertson, Poe and McCaul attended the event as well.

Highlights of the first day of the conference included discussion of changing floodplain, communicating risk to the public, urban design for flood protection and urban flood policy. At the end of the first day of the event, there was a reception that featured poster presentations on engineering principals and modeling surrounding severe storms. Judges rated the 15 different presentations, awarding Carl Bernier with a first place win for his presentation on the “Performance of oil infrastructure during Hurricane Harvey” and second place was awarded to Amin Kiaghadi for her poster presentation on “Contrasting Hydrodynamic and Environmental Effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Ike in a Highly Industrialized Estuary.”


The second day was comprised of sessions on “A look back at forecasting,” programs and studies from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and communicating flood risk to the public. The afternoon sessions were smaller groups that focused on flood warning systems, coastal infrastructure impacts, land use issues and water quality. The conference concluded with a keynote address from FEMA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation.

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