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Effects of the Uncertainty of Hurricane Tracks on Coastal Hazards and Evacuations

Jieya Yang 1, Linoj Vijayan 2, Mahyar Ghorbanzadeh 3, Onur Alisan 1, Wenrui Huang 2, Eren Erman Ozguven 2, and Simone Burns4
1. Department of Civil Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA
2. Department of Civil Engineering, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, USA
3. HNTB Corporation, 1276 Metropolitan Blvd., Suite 304, Tallahassee, USA
4. Kimley-Horn, 189 South Orange Avenue Suite 1000, Orlando, USA

Manuscript received May 26, 2022; revised July 28, 2022; accepted August 26, 2022; issue published November 4, 2022.

Abstract—Hurricanes cause devastating amounts of damage to structures and infrastructure. It harms especially those coastal residents along its track. Over the last couple of years, evacuation planning for populated coastal regions has been challenging and time-consuming due to the uncertainty of the hurricane’s track. As such, with a focus on Northwest Florida, this research aims to focus on the development of evacuation scenarios for coastal communities that combines hurricane inundation and strong wind forecast and evacuation modeling. The proposed approach integrates storm surge simulation models (ADCIRC and SWAN modeling) and traffic evacuation models (Cube and TIME) by using hurricane forecasting datasets to explore the designation of evacuation zones and the calculation of evacuation clearance times in different counties. This approach was applied to three distinct scenarios with a focus on possible populated coastal cities that Hurricane Michael would have hit in 2018. Selected cities are Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City. This type of approach has the potential to help agencies make more informed decisions on evacuations using the accuracy and timeliness of forecasts and provide safer evacuations in coastal areas by avoiding the traffic jams on evacuation routes.

Index Terms—hurricane uncertainty, storm surge, evacuation modeling, hurricane evacuations

Cite: Jieya Yang, Linoj Vijayan, Mahyar Ghorbanzadeh, Onur Alisan, Wenrui Huang, Eren Erman Ozguven, and Simone Burns, "Effects of the Uncertainty of Hurricane Tracks on Coastal Hazards and Evacuations," International Journal of Structural and Civil Engineering Research, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 99-107, November 2022. doi: 10.18178/ijscer.11.4.99-107

Copyright © 2022 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.