Assessing the Impacts of Super Storm Flooding in the Transportation Infrastructure - Case Study: San Antonio, Texas

Data from governmental agencies shows a clear exponential growth in damages and costs due to extreme weather events in the U.S. Most critical infrastructure built in urban areas, including that for transportation and flood protection are designed to handle a design storm with a 1% probability of occurrence in one year or 100 years of return period. Superstorms are defined here as rainfall storm events with return periods higher than 100 years and have occurred lately in the U.S. In the absence of new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling frameworks as well as educational opportunities for the current and future generation of engineers, the impacts of super storms will only increase negatively affecting critical infrastructure, the economy, the environment and communities. Hence, the main goal of this project is to develop and apply a computational framework capable of predicting the impacts of super storms in the transportation infrastructure and evaluating flood protection strategies that alleviate some of the impacts in highly populated urban areas. The case study is the City of San Antonio, TX, which lays within a flood-prone region in Texas referred as the Flash Flood Alley.