As a follow-on to the StEER FAST, an extensive investigation of storm surge losses in Hurricane Michael was recently published by StEER members and their colleagues: Andrew Kennedy; Andrew Copp; Matthew Florence; Anderson Gradel; Kurtis Gurley; Matt Janssen; James Kaihatu ; Douglas Krafft; Patrick Lynett; Margaret Owensby; Jean-Paul Pinelli; David O. Prevatt; Spencer Rogers; David Roueche; and Zachariah Silver in the Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering. Access the article HERE.
Abstract Category 5 Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on October 9, 2018, with measured high water marks (HWMs) reaching 7.2 m NAVD88. The town itself received great damage, with many areas destroyed down to the foundations. In this study, we document the storm and its effects on the greater Mexico Beach area: hazard, structural damage, and their relationships. Wave and surge damage was nearly total for low-lying properties, but damage decreased greatly with increasing elevation. Major wave and surge damage was noted in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) X zones, which are out of the 100-year floodplain, and it is suggested that the 100-year storm is a deficient measure for categorizing flood risk.