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Table of Contents

Project Scope

An ad hoc committee, organized by Office of Special Projects in collaboration with Division of Earth and Life Sciences, will conduct a series of regional workshops or case studies to explore the issue of urban flooding in 3 to 8 metropolitan areas. The goal will be to gain an initial understanding of the extent and causes of urban flooding in the chosen locations. These information gathering sessions will provide information from federal, state, and local government agencies, and other relevant stakeholders responsible for flood control, flood response, recovery, or mitigation on questions related to urban flooding both outside and inside the floodplain, such as:
  • How big is the problem of flooding in each metropolitan area; i.e., how bad can floods be or have floods been and how much do floods cost? 
  • What causes the worst impacts of flooding, including structural and human impacts (human life and property)? 
  • How could the worst impacts be avoided or mitigated? 
  • Who is affected most by floods in the metropolitan area? 
  • Which regions of the metropolitan areas see the longest lasting or most costly effects of flooding?
Based on information gathered from the case study cities, the committee will produce a consensus report that:
  • Identifies any commonalities and variances among the case study metropolitan areas in terms of causes, adverse impacts, unexpected problems in recovery, or effective mitigation strategies, as well as key themes of urban flooding.
  • Provides an estimate of the size or importance of flooding in those urban areas; and
  • Relates, as appropriate, causes and actions of urban flooding to existing federal resources or policies, including but not limited to the National Flood Insurance Program, non-disaster grants, Stafford Act authorities, or others.
Committee Members

Dr. David R. Maidment (NAE) (Chair)
Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering and Director of the Center for Research in Water Resources
University of Texas, Austin

Mr. Chad Berginnis
Executive Director
Association of State Floodplain Managers

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick (Ret.)
Senior Vice President, Environment Sector

Dr. Samuel Brody
Professor and holder of the George P. Mitchell ’40 Chair in Sustainable Coasts in the Departments of Marine Sciences and Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
Texas A&M University

Dr. Jeffrey Czajkowski
Willis Re Research Fellow
Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

Dr. Dara Entekhabi
Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ms. Harriet Festing
Anthropocene Associates

Ms. Katherine Greig
Deputy Director, Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency
New York City

Ms. Jo Ann Howard
H2O Partners, Inc.

Mr. Conor Jensen
Vice President of Strategic Execution, Specialty Risk Division

Dr. Eric Tate
Assistant Professor, Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
University of Iowa

Dr. Claire Welty
Director for the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. James L. Wescoat, Jr.
Aga Khan Professor, Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project Staff

Lauren Alexander Augustine, Ph.D.
Responsible Staff Officer and Study Director

Anne M. Linn, Ph.D.

Danielle Nagele, Ph.D.
Associate Program Officer

Eric Edkin
Senior Program Assistant


February 6-7, 2017:  First Committee Meeting
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center
Washington, DC
  • Agenda
  • Presentation from Dr. David Green, Disaster Program Manager, Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science Division, NASA (available upon request
  • Presentation from Steve Zubrick, Science and Operations Officer, National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office
April 24-25, 2017:  First Regional Workshop - Baltimore, MD
Towson University Marriott Conference Center
Towson, MD
July 5-7:  Second Regional Workshop - Houston, TX
Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria
Houston, TX
September 18-20:  Third Regional Workshop - Chicago, IL
Kimpton Hotel Allegro
Chicago, IL
January 22-24:  Committee Meeting - Phoenix, AZ
Hyatt Regency
Phoenix, AZ
  • Agenda
  • Presentations

  • Please visit the National Academies' Current Project System to
    submit feedback on this study.**

    **Public Comment: Any comments or material you submit to the committee, including your name and identifying information, will be listed in the Public Access File for the Committee on Urban Flooding in the United States, in compliance with Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). By submitting comments, you acknowledge and agree that the National Academies will be authorized to use any such comments or submissions in the committee’s report or related materials in accordance with the institution’s Terms of Use Statement, which includes the granting of a Nonexclusive License.

Study Sponsor

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

This website contains unedited papers/verbatim presentations by individuals and is not an official report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Opinions and statements included in this material are solely those of the individual authors. They have not been verified as accurate, nor do they necessarily represent the views of other meeting participants or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 



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