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LNVA grants $100K to LU led project to mitigate flooding in Southeast Texas

The Lower Neches Valley Authority awarded Lamar University $100,000 to help initiate the Southeast Texas Flood Coordination Study, a collaborative project designed to help the region improve its resiliency during large-scale flooding events.

LNVA General Manager Scott Hall presented the check on Thursday, May 7 to Liv Haselbach, chair and LNVA Checkprofessor of the Department of Civil Engineering in Lamar University’s College of Engineering and project team leader.

The project will include local, regional, state and federal agencies and industry groups, municipalities and universities to fund a data collaborative and communication network to ultimately serve as a prototype for regional flood mitigation and response with the potential to expand the model statewide.

The group of organizations will seek to gather data and coordinate storm water modeling and decision making to support the State Flood Plan as well as launch a networked, information team in Southeast Texas to support information exchange and emergency response. Ideally, the collaborative effort of data collection and shared resources will result in flood mitigation and sensor technologies in Southeast Texas and a maintenance plan for a Southeast Texas Flood Coordination Group.

“My hope is that this project establishes a long-term, permanent service hub to serve Southeast Texas’ eight counties and serves as a model for other regions,” said Haselbach. “Through our efforts, we can provide better data so that the modelers can make better decisions to mitigate flooding. If data is updated, then during the events modelers can predict flooding likelihood and help emergency responders know how to re-route emergency supplies to areas most in need.”

Haselbach and a team of core team research organizations (See core team listing below.) believe that through their work they will formulate a geographic information system database for SETexas to support studies of the interaction of the streamflow and the transportation networks and other development and industry. The GIS database can then integrate with national efforts from FEMA, USGS, NWC, NOAA, etc. on mapping, flood prediction, inundation and response. In the long term, the group believes it can then expand the database with data to support hydrological modeling, integration with emergency response needs and decision making in targeted flood mitigation strategies.

“This whole collective has been initiated to help Southeast Texas mitigate, respond to and recover from a major event, and I’m so excited that LNVA is providing this kind of significant support.”

Core Team

Lamar University: Liv Haselbach (Team leader), Xing Wu (GIS), Qin Qian (Hydrology), Brian Craig (Industry), Nicholas Brake/Thinesh Selvaratnam (Infrastructure), Natalie Tindall (Communications)

University of Texas: David Maidment (Lead), Harry Evans (Response), Christine Thies (Response, GIS),
David Arctur (GIS), Clint Dawson (Map Integration)

Texas Department of Transportation: Adam Jack, Andrew Lee

Texas Department of Emergency Management: Carman Apple

Texas Department of Public Safety: Capt. Michelle McDaniel

United States Army Corps of Engineers: Sarah Delavan, Alicia Rea

Local Drainage Districts: Doug Canant (DD6 Jefferson County), Don Carona (Orange County), Phil Kelley (DD7 Jefferson County)

County Floodplain Managers: Steve Stafford (Jefferson), Lisa Roberts (Orange), Brad Wilber (Chambers)

US Geological Survey: Alan Rea (Chief Scientist National Hydrography Dataset), Jason Stoker (National Lead Elevation), Jeff Danielson (CoNED Applications Project Chief)

River Authorities: Scott Hall (LNVA), Mark Howard (SRA)