GSO professor Isaac Ginis and his colleagues have simulated a hypothetical but plausible storm dubbed “Hurricane Rhody” that slows down after making landfall in Rhode Island, makes a loop and returns for a second landfall two days later.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security funded the research to investigate the potential effects of extreme hurricanes on the coast of southern New England—a region considered especially vulnerable to inland flooding during these powerful storms—to help emergency managers and the U.S. Coast Guard to better prepare coastal communities for future risks.
“Because the aim of the study was to raise local awareness of the potentially catastrophic impacts of a major hurricane strike in southern New England, the start time of the Rhody simulation was selected such that the first landfall would occur at the time of astronomical high tide,” Isaac Ginis of the University of Rhode Island, who was one of the authors of the study, told Newsweek.
“As a result, the maximum storm surge in the Narragansett Bay reached 7 meters [around 23 feet] causing extensive overland flooding in many areas along the coast. The intense rainfall—up to 20 inches—during the second landfall produced severe inland flooding throughout the state of Rhode Island,” he said.
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