21 September 2018

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 AM on Friday (14 September 2018) as a Category 1 hurricane. This blog summarises some of our existing information products and new analytics that can be used to help assess the impact of this major event.

1. Location profile report and animation for low-lying coastal addresses

For any location in the Contiguous US, we provide two web pages (Link 1 and Link 2, with Google Maps embedded) to allow users to request site-level location profile report and animation automatically. We also offer APIs for independent developers to integrate such resources.

Examples for some representative low-lying coastal areas affected by this event are shown below (click Twitter pictures for more links).

2. Inland flooding 

The unprecedented heavy rainfall induced by the Hurricane Florence has caused widespread inland flooding, spanning from North Carolina to South Carolina. We quickly performed some flood analytics using satellite imagery, modelled flood maps and a unique building footprint dataset recently released by Microsoft for the public. Six perspectives were offered.

– The big picture for the region impacted, with before & after imagery: MODIS corrected reflectance bands 7-2-1 and Sentinel2 false colour bands 8-4-3

– OBSERVED flooding in Lumberton, North Carolina: Before (2018-09-06) and after (2018-09-18) imagery. With the new satellite imagery available, flood extent for the whole region can be readily detected.

– MODELLED flood-prone areas according to the FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer (AEP 1%)

– COMPARISON between OBSERVED and MODELLED flood areas. Please note their correspondence and differences. Sometimes they could be very different; observed data can be used to validate modelling results.

– By superimposing Microsoft building footprints, the total exposure at risk can be more accurately estimated.

– Site-level location profile reports enabled by Web APIs and Web Services, as a new effort to advance flood risk analytics. Please refer to a recent R&D article from us: Introducing Three New Tools for Investigating Flood-prone Areas in the U.S. and Australia

3. Environmental impact on coastal waters