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Damage from Hurricane Florence to be determined by climate, sea level and land use changes

Photo of Omar Abdul-Aziz

WVU's Omar Abdul-Aziz is available to talk about predicting the damage caused by major hurricanes and other extreme climate events.

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West Virginia University expert Omar Abdul-Aziz has done extensive research on how climate, sea level and land-use changes affect flooding in coastal watersheds. Abdul-Aziz believes the key to disaster mitigation is accurately forecasting the damage caused by destructive winds, sweeping storm surges and devastating freshwater flooding often associated with massive hurricanes like Florence. He has developed hydrologic models to predict rainfall-fed freshwater flooding in large-scale coastal basins during extreme climate events. 

Omar I. Abdul-Aziz
Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; 304.293.9929

“My model fills this science and engineering gap by factoring in complex land uses/cover, drainage network, low elevation, topography and shallow groundwater table to dynamically predict flooding from intense rainfalls throughout coastal Florida. As the frequency and intensity of hurricanes increase in the U.S. and around the world, we need more of these models to make accurate predictions of location-specific flooding in the large coastal regions of hurricane landfalls. This is crucial for the short-term avoidance through evacuations and long-term hazard mitigations through upgrading the critical coastal infrastructures.”

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



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