Hurricane Sandy made the East Coast of the United States realize its vulnerability to extreme tidal surges, coastal flooding and possible impacts of climate change on sea levels and weather. Following this devastating event, the US Geological Survey (USGS) received $18.8 million in supplemental funding to better understand coastal flooding, to improve our preparedness for future coastal storms, and to increase the resilience of coastal cities, infrastructure and natural systems.
In the northeast, the USGS New England Water Science Center is focused on creating a new coastal flood monitoring network. In 2014, the USGS will be installing nearly 275 coastal tide monitoring devices from Long Island Sound in Connecticut to the Gulf of Maine in Maine. This monitoring will help to understand coastal flooding and storm surge, and help local communities prepare for the potential of coastal flooding. USGS has been working with the coastal New England states, federal partners, and many local agencies. USGS work includes:
-Storm-surge response and data collection: A Storm Tide Center will be established in the northeast with adequate equipment and trained staff that will improve the USGS response to hurricanes, nor’easters and other events impacting the coast.
-Storm tide monitoring networks and data analysis: USGS has identified nearly 275 fixed locations for where storm surge equipment will be deployed prior to a potential coastal flooding weather event. This equipment will be located bay, estuary, and river channels. A map of these sites is presented below.
-Storm-surge data recovery and delivery: These new data will allow USGS to improve data analysis, delivery, and display to emergency management responders, community planners, forecasters, modelers, and the public; and identify high vulnerability areas for the development of real-time water level and water quality sensors.
More information about USGS Sandy work is available in the USGS Circular, Meeting the science needs of the Nation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy—A U.S. Geological Survey science plan for support of restoration and recovery: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1390, 26 p., https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1390/