FAS

As non-structural tools, flood alert systems (FAS) can provide accurate and timely warning to the public and private entities in urban areas that are prone to flash floods. One of the most common application is with the real time Radar rainfall data. The wider spatial and temporal coverage from radar increases flood warning lead-time when compared to rain and stream gauge alone. One of such operational flood alert systems (FAS) in place was developed by the joint efforts of Dr. Bedient , Dr. Fang and Dr. Vieux for the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. During Hurricane Harvey, the reliability and excellent performance of such system helped the TMC key-executives and decision makers initiate better emergency decisions to effectively and efficiently prevent huge flood losses during Hurricane Harvey. More than 20 years in opertiona, FAS has achieved an overall prediction accuracy of R2 = 0.87.  Having a significant role in the communication of flood information, FAS marks an important step towards the establishment of an operational and reliable flood warning system for other flood-prone urban areas (etc. TxDOT bridges, the City of Sugar Land, Clear Creek, White Oak, and the City of Grand Prairie) that Dr. Fang has participated in the developing and operating phases. Dr. Fang’s expertise in real-time hydrologic/hydraulic simulation coupled with the state-of-the-art IT technology has enable FAS become a powerful and life-saving tool during catastrophic flooding events. The urban flash flood events will inevitably increase with the current trends in urbanization and climate change, the need of implementing and constantly updating such a system is certainly in line with the demand of increasing resilience of urban areas for the future growth.