StEER NETWORK ACTIVATION

EVENT: MIDWEST DERECHO | HURRICANE LAURA

LOCATION: MULTIPLE SITES IN IOWA AND SURROUNDING AREAS | TBD

DATE OF EVENT: AUGUST 10, 2020​ | TBD

CURRENT LEVEL OF RESPONSE: FAST | Possible FAST

SLACK CHANNEL: #steer | #hurricanes-laura-marco 

VAST ACTIVATED & FAST RAPID ASSESSMENT PLANNED FOR HURRICANE LAURA (08/25/20)

Update on StEER’s approach to Hurricane Laura: We are seeking to balance the need to document the impacts of this event, while

minimizing the exposure of its members to COVID-19. Assuming Hurricane Laura’s track remains as projected with Category 3 strength, StEER plans to swiftly deploy a small Field Assessment Structural Team (FAST) to collect rapid assessment data using Applied Streetview Technologies and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) as ground conditions allow. The assessment will focus on the performance of select targets in the landfall area. The technologies employed will ensure this small FAST has minimal interactions with the affected population and those outside of its team, in compliance with StEER’s COVID-19 protocols.   

This data, combined with any aerial imagery gathered by NOAA, will be evaluated by a larger Virtual Assessment Structural Team (VAST) and compiled into a hybrid report. This report will detail hazard characteristics and reported impacts from public sources (information that would normally comprise the Preliminary Virtual Reconnaissance Report), as well as this assessment of FAST data (normally included in the Early Access Reconnaissance Report). Data collected by the FAST will be posted to DesignSafe and integrated into Google as a post-event StreetView imagery set.

Those who wish to join the VAST to assemble observations and review the FAST data to author the hybrid report should continue to express their interest via this form. Individuals will be added to a secure Slack channel to collaborate with other VAST members in this effort which is expected to initiate as the storm makes landfall.

Note that StEER may adjust its strategy further should the storm intensify further and/or track toward larger metropolitan areas.

ANNOUNCEMENT ON HURRICANE LAURA/TS MARCO (08/25/20)

StEER is carefully monitoring TS Marco and Hurricane Laura to evaluate event response levels in light of StEER’s COVID-19 protocols. To minimize COVID-19 risk, we are considering phased assessments using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and applied streetview (ASV) platforms to rapidly capture data between the subsequent storm landfalls, which would then be processed by a virtual team of StEER members.  

We are currently seeking interested members who are: 

  1. In driving distance of the landfall site(s) and would be available this week to support such a rapid assessment, particularly those who have UAS or ASV platforms.  

  2. Interested in virtually reviewing imagery collected by these regional responders to assess the impacts of these hurricanes and author the Early Access Reconnaissance Report. 

Those wishing to engage by mode 1 or 2 above are requested to log their interest through this form. Follow the #hurricanes-laura-marco channel on Slack for the latest exchange of information on this event. 

ANNOUNCEMENT ON MIDWEST DERECHO (08/25/20)

StEER will be sending a socially distanced team to perform assessments of the August 10 Derecho Wind Event in Iowa and other affected regions of the midwest. Isolated team members will be deploying in phases this week, beginning tomorrow. The team is led by Frank Lombardo (UIUC) and includes Ricky Wood and Christine Wittich (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), with remote support by Arn Womble (IBHS). The mission objectives are as follows: 

  1. Rigorous estimation of wind speeds from all available methods including corn and tree-fall patterns via unpiloted aerial system (UAS) flights and investigation of existing wind measurement equipment. Estimates of duration of high wind speeds (possibly in upwards of 30 minutes) will also be investigated as being a key component of damage levels. Point clouds will be generated from the aerial imagery.  

  2. Document performance of urban and suburban infrastructure using StreetView cameras from the RAPID EF. Specific infrastructure will be targeted from media reports and NWS surveys for more detailed investigation utilizing Fulcrum. Focus will be on residential buildings and power infrastructure. Targeted deployment of disadvantaged communities in Cedar Rapids that may have been disproportionately affected (in possible collaboration with SSEER).  

  3. Document performance of agricultural infrastructure including: steel grain silos, small steel farm bins, irrigation systems, metal outhouses/barns, and heavy equipment. Photographic documentation and evidence of: manufacturer, model (if applicable), foundation style, anchorage (if present), baseplate style and connection to silo walls, estimated condition prior to event, and observed condition after the event (anchorage rupture, buckled wall or roof, roof tearoff, etc.) will be collected. Of particular interest is the relative performance of small and large silos, as these may represent different levels of engineering for wind loading. A secondary interest is the relative performance of isolated silos and silos in groups.    

  4. Document performance of residential or commercial construction adjacent or nearby to farms with silos, farm bins, and/or other agricultural support structures. Documentation would include typical door-to-door assessment and would utilize Fulcrum. 

Updates on this mission will be shared on #steer channel on Slack. 

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI 1841667. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of StEER and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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