Hurricane Harvey Report: A fact-finding effort in the direct aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the Greater Houston Region

Antonia Sebastian, Kasper Lendering, Baukje Kothuis, Nikki Brand, Sebastiaan N. Jonkman, Pieter van Gelder, Maartje Godfroij, Bas Kolen, Tina Comes, Stef Lhermite, K. J. M. G. Meesters, B. A. van de Walle, A. Ebrahimi Fard, Scott Cunningham, N. Khakzad Rostami, V. Nespeca

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of approximately 200 km/hour. Harvey caused severe damages in coastal Texas due to extreme winds and storm surge, but will go down in history for record-setting rainfall totals and flood-related damages. Across large portions of southeast Texas, rainfall totals during the six-day period between August 25 and 31, 2017 were amongst the highest ever recorded, causing flooding at an unprecedented scale. More than 100,000 residential properties are estimated to have been affected in southeast Texas. It is likely that Harvey will rank among the costliest storms in US history. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Delft University of Technology has initiated a Harvey Research Team to undertake a coordinated multidisciplinary investigation of the events with a focus on the greater Houston area. This ‘fact-finding’research is based on information available from public sources during and in the first weeks after the event. Results are therefore preliminary, but aim to provide insight into lessons that can be learned for both Texas and the Netherlands. As part of the investigations, a hackathon with more than 80 participants was organized to collect and analyze available public information. Houston was especially hard hit by flooding. During the event, all 22 watersheds in the greater Houston area experienced flooding. Many of Houston’s creeks and bayous exceeded their channel capacities, reaching water levels never before recorded.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDelft
Number of pages102
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • hurricane harvey
  • floods
  • fact finding
  • Houston
  • Texas
  • rainfall
  • impacts
  • damage
  • emergency response
  • land use planning
  • flood risk

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