Flood prediction and forecasting accuracy using FEMA FIS studies, climate change predictions, and WaterRIDE allowed PSEG to understand the risks to their assets across a large geographic base.
Flood and storm surge forecasting
The East Coast of the United States is vulnerable to many facets of climate change, including large tropical storms, as well as sea level rise. PSEG operates the power utility across Long Island and had experienced many flooded assets during the events of Hurricane Sandy. They needed a way to easily understand the risks to their assets for future events, as well as understand the depths of potential flooding for Storm Hardening works.
Advisian used existing information from FEMA to produce flood surfaces for various return periods for the entire island. Coupling this information with asset elevation, DTMs, and orthophoto data sets allowed WaterRIDE to produce thematic maps of the impacts at each localized asset. In addition, sea level rise information was displayed in concert with tropical storm surge levels to display flooding depth across the coastal areas. In Phase 2, of this project, real-time forecasting information will be added to WaterRIDE to allow predictive emergency response planning to occur as tropical storms are approaching. Using zones of influence across the island, WaterRIDE is then able to modify forecasted flooding based on where the tropical storm makes landfall.
PSEG has been impressed with the power and flexibility that WaterRIDE has provided in allowing them to understand and plan for the risks to their assets in the face of crisis. They are now looking at rolling out WaterRIDE across the districts in New Jersey to understand the impacts to their inland assets due to river flooding in combination with backwater effects from storm surge into New York harbor.