Casey Dietrich comments on Hurricane Isaac
Thanks to models by ICES' Computational Hydraulics Group, emergency responders to Hurricane Isaac have had much more detail to help them prepare evacuations and make other plans for the storm. Casey Dietrich, a post-doctoral researcher for the group, told Computerworld that about the time of Katrina, the computer models "were much coarser and had minimum resolutions of only 100-200 meters." Now the models are precise to 10 meters in some areas. Dietrich has been running computer models at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to assess the impact of the storm surge on Texas.
Emergency planners in both Louisiana and Texas take the data and incorporate it into geographic information systems.
"They can look down at neighborhood scale and say 'on this street along the levee we're going to have water this high,' and plan accordingly," Dietrich said.
Comparing the capability today with that at the time of Katrina, Dietrich said: "I think we have a very strong understanding of how hurricane wave storms develop and how they can threaten a coastal environment."
Posted: Aug. 29, 2012