GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 126-8
Presentation Time: 3:50 PM


LEVINE, Norman, Masters of Environmental Studies, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424 and RUBIN, Nicholas, Dual Masters in Environmental Studies and Public Administration, College of Charleston, 66 George street, Charleston, SC 29424,

The Charleston Resilience Network (CRN), formed in 2014, is a volunteer-based effort composed of public and private sector stakeholder organizations within the Charleston, South Carolina, metropolitan area that have a collective interest in the resilience of communities, critical infrastructure and socio-economic continuity to episodic natural disasters and chronic coastal hazards. The CRN’s mission is to foster a unified strategy and provide a forum to share information, educate stakeholders, and enhance long-term planning decisions for critical infrastructure that result in implementation of effective hazard mitigation strategies and recovery efforts to episodic and chronic flooding events.

 The Charleston, South Carolina, region is home to more than 500,000 people and is one of the fastest growing areas of the country. The economy of Charleston is strong and diverse, with concentrations on tourism, shipping, manufacturing, health care, education and an emerging technology sector. The low-lying Charleston region deals often with water-related hazards, including coastal storms, frequent King Tides and increasingly heavy precipitation events known as “rain bombs.” Add sea level rise and the annual threat of hurricanes, and adaptation efforts are imperative in a region the U.S. Census Bureau ranks among the fastest growing in the country. According to NOAA, the frequency of nuisance flooding events occurring in Charleston has increased 409% from an average of 4.6 days from 1957-1963 to 23.3 days from 2007-2013. Similarly, data indicate that the duration of these events has also increased, thus prolonging the flooding impact. The CRN technical group is building using existing data localized flooding models for the Charleston region that incorporate tides, meteorological events, wind, surge, and infrastructure features such as tunnels, drains and pumps. This critical type of modeling will provide the parcel-level vulnerability assessments that are now lacking when planning and implementing place-based strategies to increase resilience in the region.