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Fact Sheet 2006–3136

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Monitoring Inland Storm Surge and Flooding from Hurricane Rita

Abstract

Pressure transducers (sensors) and high–water marks were used to document the inland water levels related to storm surge generated by Hurricane Rita in southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. On September 22–23, 2005, an experimental monitoring network of sensors was deployed at 33 sites over an area of about 4,000 square miles to record the timing, extent, and magnitude of inland hurricane storm surge and coastal flooding. Sensors were programmed to record date and time, temperature, and barometric or water pressure. Water pressure was corrected for changes in barometric pressure and salinity. Elevation surveys using global–positioning systems and differential levels were used to relate all storm–surge water–level data, reference marks, benchmarks, sensor measuring points, and high–water marks to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). The resulting data indicated that storm–surge water levels over 14 feet above NAVD 88 occurred at three locations, and rates of water–level rise greater than 5 feet per hour occurred at three locations near the Louisiana coast.

Version 1.0

Posted December 2006

 

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