January 09, 2019
Flood Mitigation Adaptation Partnership
The Town of Kiawah Island is excited to announce a formal partnership beginning in January 2019 through June 2019 with the College of Charleston to support the research of Lucas Hernandez. Lucas is a Master of Environmental Studies/Master of Public Administration Candidate at the College of Charleston conducting research on flooding around Kiawah Island. He has worked closely with the Charleston Resilience Network and several other municipalities in the Lowcountry researching flooding and assisting in disaster communication and preparation. During his time at the college, he has worked in the Lowcountry Hazards Center with his advisor, Dr. Norman Levine, creating flood maps and assessing impacts of sea level rise on the greater Charleston area. Using a variety of available data, this team can simulate and predict which roadways and homes will be impacted by flooding in the future, using models within a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. GIS tools can easily overlay many layers of information (high-resolution elevations, land use, and flood extent) to create maps and images of the impacts of future flooding events.
Lucas’ primary focus during the first half of 2019 will be to take highly accurate elevation data and project “simulated” storm surges across Kiawah Island in increments ranging from 0-24 feet in height. Similarly, sea level rise maps will be developed showing what Kiawah Island might look like in 2025, 2030, 2050, 2075, and 2100, based on the most up-to-date NOAA Sea Level Change Predictions for South Carolina. Ultimately, Lucas’ research will create a user-friendly online service for Kiawah entities and property owners to access the sea level rise and storm surge flood maps for the Island. The final part of this project will be to analyze the flooding data in conjunction with the concerns of residents, Town Council, and other island entities to develop strategies and ideas that will help Kiawah better prepare for future storms and mitigate the flooding that comes with them.