Hydro-Climate Symposium

Oral

394263 - Hurricane Harvey Precipitation Totals and Probable Maximum Precipitation Estimates along the U.S. Gulf Coast

Wednesday, June 6
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Lake Superior B

In August 2017 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeastern Texas. Shortly after making landfall, the hurricanes forward movement stalled and it remained over southeastern Texas for several days. This resulted in large precipitation amounts and significant flooding throughout the entire region. Several locations reported precipitation total depths in excess of 50 inches, with reports that they were the largest recorded depths in the United States for a single storm event.
Probable maximum precipitation (PMP) estimates using the procedures outlined in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hyrdrometeorolgical Reports (HMRs) have been used to determine design basis flooding events for nuclear power plants, dams and other risk significant facilities throughout the United States.
The nuclear accident which occurred at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan was the result of a beyond design basis flooding event for the plant. One of the results of this event, was an examination of design basis flood events at existing nuclear power plants and comparing them with current day design standards and recent flooding events. This paper will investigate precipitation depths at several locations in southeastern Texas during Hurricane Harvey and compare them with PMP estimates from the NOAA HMRs at existing nuclear power plant locations along the U.S Gulf Coast. Comparisons for both short and long duration precipitation depths will be presented along with comparisons of other climatic parameters including temperature, evaporation/evapotranspiration, relative humidity and vapor pressure. This comparison can then be used to asses if design basis flood events could have possibly been exceeded for a Hurricane Harvey type precipitation event at nuclear power plant location.

Craig J. Talbot, PE, Member ASCE

Principal Hydrologic Engineer
Bechtel Global Corporation

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Mustafa Samad, Phd, P. Eng, Member ASCE


Bechtel Nuclear, Security and Environmental

Dr. Mustafa Samad has over 25 years of industry and research experience in the areas of watershed hydrology, hydraulics and coastal engineering supporting a variety of business sectors. Mustafa is involved in the preparation of combined license application and post-Fukushima flooding evaluation projects evaluating potential coastal and riverine flooding of nuclear power plants, plant cooling water system hydraulics, wave impact assessments and riverbank and coastal erosion protection designs. The present research evolved from Mustafa's engagement in liquefied natural gas terminal projects where stormwater discharges from an LNG plant to natural receiving environment are are required to meed strict effluent discharge criteria.

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