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Monitoring storm tide and flooding from Hurricane Matthew along the Atlantic coast of the United States, October 2016

Open-File Report 2017-1122

Prepared in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency
By:
ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171122

Links

Introduction

Hurricane Matthew moved adjacent to the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The hurricane made landfall once near McClellanville, South Carolina, on October 8, 2016, as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) deployed a temporary monitoring network of storm-tide sensors at 284 sites along the Atlantic coast from Florida to North Carolina to record the timing, areal extent, and magnitude of hurricane storm tide and coastal flooding generated by Hurricane Matthew. Storm tide, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the water-level rise generated by a combination of storm surge and astronomical tide during a coastal storm.

The deployment for Hurricane Matthew was the largest deployment of storm-tide sensors in USGS history and was completed as part of a coordinated Federal emergency response as outlined by the Stafford Act (Public Law 92–288, 42 U.S.C. 5121–5207) under a directed mission assignment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In total, 543 high-water marks (HWMs) also were collected after Hurricane Matthew, and this was the second largest HWM recovery effort in USGS history after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

During the hurricane, real-time water-level data collected at temporary rapid deployment gages (RDGs) and long-term USGS streamgage stations were relayed immediately for display on the USGS Flood Event Viewer (https://stn.wim.usgs.gov/FEV/#MatthewOctober2016). These data provided emergency managers and responders with critical information for tracking flood-effected areas and directing assistance to effected communities. Data collected from this hurricane can be used to calibrate and evaluate the performance of storm-tide models for maximum and incremental water level and flood extent, and the site-specific effects of storm tide on natural and anthropogenic features of the environment.

Suggested Citation

Frantz, E.R., Byrne, M.J., Sr., Caldwell, A.W., and Harden, S.L., 2017, Monitoring storm tide and flooding from Hurricane Matthew along the Atlantic coast of the United States, October 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1122, 37 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171122.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Hurricane Matthew Storm-Tide Monitoring
  • Elevation Surveys
  • Data Presentation
  • References Cited
  • Tables 2–5

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Monitoring storm tide and flooding from Hurricane Matthew along the Atlantic coast of the United States, October 2016
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2017-1122
DOI:
10.3133/ofr20171122
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
South Atlantic Water Science Center
Description:
vi, 37 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N