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Florida Building Commission Project

Potential Implications of Sea-Level Rise and Changing Rainfall for Communities in Florida using Miami-Dade County as a Case Study

 

Project Lead: Jayantha Obeysekera, Ph.D., P.E.

Sponsoring Organizations: Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Building Commission 

florida-flood-1.pngThe Florida Building Code (FBC) is one of the strongest in the nation for protection from coastal hazards including wind and storm surge.  Coastal communities are at risk of increased flooding due to variations in rainfall extremes, sea-level rise, and a rising water table exacerbating potential for flood damage to buildings. The Florida Building Commission awarded a contract to the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), Institute of Water and Environment (InWE), Florida International University (FIU) to assess whether new flood elevations would increase flood risk due to increasing sea levels and changes in rainfall extremes.  The overall effort to assess flood risk may beaccomplished by comparing existing flood elevations with new elevations based on updated rainfall data and sea-level rise projections. The initial effort will be focused on Miami-Dade County to establish an applicable model that can be applied for other areas across the State. For the current contract, SLSC will evaluate groundwater level due to sea-level rise and changes in extreme rainfall in Miami-Dade County and potential implications for the current Florida Building Code (FBC). The scope the current efforts includes the following tasks:

  • Task 1.  Development of average May-October groundwater level maps (used for evaluating flood risks) through groundwater modeling under future sea level rise scenarios.
  • Task 2.  Updating Existing Rainfall Maps
  • Task 3.  Evaluation of the FBC-related requirements.

The work associated with this project is being accomplished by the following investigators at FIU:

  • Jayantha Obeysekera, P.E. (Director, SLSC, and Principal Investigator)
  • Michael Sukop, P.G., C.Hg (Professor, Co-PI)
  • Tiffany Troxler, (Director of Science, SLSC, and Co-PI)
  • Michelle Irizarry, P.E. (SLSC Research Affiliate, Owner, Continuity, H2O)
  • Martina Rogers (Ph.D. student)

Final Report

The Florida Building Commission awarded a contract to the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), Institute of Water and Environment (InWE), Florida International University (FIU) to assess whether new flood elevations would increase flood risk due to increasing sea levels and changes in rainfall extremes.