Quantifying risk reduction of flood mitigation measures for an unrban watershed in Houston, Texas.
Maulsby, Ferne E
Master of Science
In this thesis, flood mitigation measures are evaluated using risk-based analysis in a fully developed urban watershed by quantifying expected damages for certain return periods and producing parcel-level flood risk profiles. Current FEMA Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), commonly known as the 100-year floodplain, have missed more than a quarter of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims since 1978 (Brody, et al., 2013). This highlights the need for improved flood risk estimates which communicate information extending beyond the boundary of the current SFHA. In this work, a risk-based framework is created to produce novel, spatially-based risk profiles by combining hydrologic and hydraulic modeling with damage functions. Due to the spatial nature of these profiles, high risk areas can be targeted with mitigation strategies more directly than before, thereby likely having a greater impact on overall risk reduction. Therefore, risk-based, spatially-targeted mitigation is expected to increase resiliency of urban infrastructure.