Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Houston Hurricane Simulator


On September 11th 2008 the National Weather Service issued a severe warning to Houston residents,
ALL NEIGHBORHOODS, AND POSSIBLY ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES, WILL BE INUNDATED. PERSONS NOT HEEDING EVACUATION ORDERS IN SINGLE FAMILY ONE OR TWO STORY HOMES WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH.
The warning was issued because of the imminent threat of Hurricane Ike, which at the time was heading directly towards central Houston. Luckily, on September 13th, Hurricane Ike shifted course and eventually hit land a little north of the city. The storm still caused $30 billion in damage and killed at least 74 people in Texas.

The Texas Tribune and ProPublica argue that it is only a matter of time before a perfect storm will hit Houston, potentially killing thousands of residents.

Hell and High Water is a mapped visualization of the dangers Houston faces from a future hurricane. The mapped interactive simulates the likely effects of a number of potential storms on the city of Houston. Each of these simulations overlays the track of a potential storm over a satellite view of the city. These tracks are then animated to show the likely flooding events that could take place in Houston if such a storm hit the city.

The Texas Tribune argues that not enough has been done to protect the city from potential future storms. Dr. Bill Merrell, a marine scientist at Texas A&M University, believes that the city needs to build floodgates at the entrance to Galveston Bay. He predicts something will be built - four years after the next devastating hurricane.
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