Rice University to host symposium on mitigating severe weather impacts in urban

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE:(713) 348-6778EMAIL: [email protected] UNIVERSITY TOHOST SYMPOSIUM ON MITIGATING SEVERE WEATHER IMPACTS IN URBAN AREAS APRIL15-17 Special sessionwill focus on effects of Tropical Storm AllisonThe best methods forreducing the damage from floods will be presented at a national symposium atRice University April 15-17.Titled “MitigatingSevere Weather Impacts in Urban Areas,” the conference will feature experts fromthe National Weather Service, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the TexasMedical Center, the University of Oklahoma, Rice and other institutions aroundthe nation presenting recent advances in their specialties. A special sessionwill focus on the effects of Tropical Storm Allison, the most damaging urbanflood in U.S. history.“Communities vulnerableto natural hazards often have little control over severe weather impacts oninfrastructure and energy- and water-supply systems,” said Phil Bedient, theHerman Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice. “Our goalis to develop public and private partnerships to create a disaster-resilientcommunity through improved planning, engineering design and technology. Theconference should improve our understanding of how technology can help createbetter operations and designs for communities of the future.”The conference willbegin with an afternoon of short courses on the use of radar rainfall inhydrology, hydrologic modeling software and flood planning and emergencyresponse, followed by two days of presentations and keynote addresses examiningsuch topics as coastal flooding and subsidence, floodplain mapping and insuranceand risk management for severe storms. Bedient expects thevarious presentations to be of interest to engineers, weather personnel, cityplanners, policy makers, developers and builders, insurance agents, floodplainmanagers, consultants and the general public.Keynote addresses willbe presented by Richard Wainerdi, Texas Medical Center, presenting “Impact ofSevere Weather on the Texas Medical Center and How To Mitigate that Impact”;John Snow, National Weather Center at the University of Oklahoma, presenting“Tomorrow’s Weather Forecasts: Just in Time, on Time and Where They’re Needed”;Wayne Huber, Oregon State University, “Urban Stormwater Modeling 2002”; and ArtStory, Harris County Public Infrastructure, “Recovery and LessonsLearned from T.S. Allison.”The symposium, afollow-up to one held last year in Tulsa, Okla., is sponsored by Rice’sEnvironmental and Energy Systems Institute and Department of Civil andEnvironmental Engineering, the Texas Medical Center and the University ofOklahoma’s International Center for Natural Hazards and DisasterResearch.Bedient is lead authorof the textbook “Hydrology and Floodplain Analysis” and designer of astate-of-the-art flood alert system in the Texas Medical Center. He organizedthe conference with Baxter Vieux, professor of civil engineering andenvironmental science at the University of Oklahoma and director of theInternational Center for Natural Hazard and Disaster Research. He is an expertin the development of engineering hydrologic applications using NEXRAD radar,the world’s foremost weather radar system.Bedient and Vieux willteach a short course and also make presentations during thesymposium.Registration fees are$350 for the symposium and $50 for the three short courses. The schedule ofspeakers and application forms are available online at or read more