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[av_heading heading=’Expansion of the Coastal High Hazard Area in the Florida Keys With a Focus on Islamorada, Village of Islands’ tag=’h2′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading]

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The South Florida Regional Planning Council received a Coastal Resilience Award from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to conduct an innovative surge analysis using new data and integrated methods to identify exposure to a Category 1 hurricane. Modelling was done for the Florida Keys Region at current sea levels, as well as with projecting the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA) expansion as the Category 1 hurricane inundation zone grows with two future sea-level rise scenarios.

Explore the tabs below to learn more about the project, including initial maps of the new results for Category 1 Hurricane Maximum of Maximum (MOM) Wave Heights with an emphasis on comparing the old and new basins for the Florida Keys and Islamorada, Village of Islands. The metadata and methodology are briefly described, and and the last tab in an overview of initial results. University of Miami intern Shanna Haley created an ESRI StoryMap as a tool for viewing and interpreting the results at http://arcg.is/2gWNZNM. The results will be used to identify assets under current and future risk within the CHHA and will be presented at a stakeholder engagement meeting in the Spring of 2018.
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This map shows the variation in wave height for a Category 1 hurricane at high tide modelled with the new Super Basin

Click image to enlarge

In May of 2016, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a significantly updated Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricane (SLOSH) basin for South Florida. This new Super Basin surge model has drastically improved vertical and horizontal resolution, and it now accounts for additional hydrological processes such as Kelvin waves (which travel parallel to coastlines), and the robust buffering capacity of mangroves. The mangrove effects were accounted for by introducing friction values into forested cells in the model. The inclusion of these and other hydrodynamic mechanisms into the model has dramatically altered wave heights in all regions along the coasts.

These updates have enabled surge predictions which are considerably more accurate than previous models. Because of these improvements, inundation depths and extents have shifted substantially in some locations, which could lead to shifting evacuation zones and necessitate updates to building codes, comprehensive plans, and CHHA delineation. The increased resolution is also valuable, allowing for more localized recommendations for adaptation and response. As CHHA areas are specified in many of Florida’s Planning Statutes, it is essential to have the most up-to-date surge modeling for computing the area and implementing it in comprehensive plans, particularly with redevelopment.
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[av_tab title=’SLOSH Comparison for the Florida Keys’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’]