Flooding risk and damage in USA – prevention and management
by Nikola Tosic, 5 June 2018
Tropical storm Harvey may have bared its teeth at Houston, but other cities in the US have felt the pangs of nervousness. Several cities are vulnerable to the fiercer storms and sea level rise that are being fueled by climate change.
Cities, by their very nature, struggle during flood situations. Water that would have been soaked up by grass and other vegetation washes off the concrete and asphalt of urban areas and, if not properly diverted away, can inundate homes.
The nightmare of a Harvey (or Katrina or Sandy) has led many cities to opt for huge sea walls and other expensive engineering fixes. But there is no easy solution – a sea wall simply pushes the water elsewhere.
As attitudes to flooding slowly shift, the problem is escalating. Oliver Milman, Environment reporter at The Guardian US states that scientists are now confident that hurricanes will become more powerful, fed by a warming, moisture-laden atmosphere, while more common “nuisance” flooding will become so frequent along parts of the US east coast that they will occur once every three days by 2045.
By around this time, a majority of US coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year. (The Guardian: The US cities at risk of flooding – and how they deal with it)
What can we do?
Flood water damage is devastating. Whether it’s flash flooding from heavy rain, sewer overflow or storm surge, the effect on buildings and business can be catastrophic. Properties are ruined, businesses and municipal organizations cannot function, lose money and fold. Nearly 40% of small businesses never restart following a disaster because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. (Flood Control International)
That’s why this threat should be prevented right from the start.
Geoplast’s New Elevetor is the right solution to prevent this major issue and save the buildings directly from the foundations.
It is an element made of recycled polypropylene for the creation of tanks or crawl spaces in the foundations. Thanks to its design, it allows the foundation of a building to be raised up to three meters high, creating a useful space below it to be able to drain any floods, without affecting the ground floor.
New Elevetor can be installed under any type of building, allowing the elevation of the foundations. Its benefits are:
- Allows the creation of high load bearing capacity foundations
- The tank created with the system, guarantees a significant storage of water
- It is fast and simple to install in any type of worksite
The protection from potential flooding is guaranteed thanks to the large size lamination and rainwater tanks that can be created and to the high quantity of water they can contain.
Case studies / Projects
The following are the most significant projects with New Elevetor:
Residential Building in Rome, Italy: This was once a Roman agricultural consortium, that has been now turned into a residential building. New Elevetor with heights 85 and 95 cm was used to raise the foundations of the new complex which is close to River Tiber and required higher foundations.
Warehouse in Kearny, New Jersey: This is a warehouse situated near Hudson River that required New Elevetor as a solution against flooding. In this case was created a barrier between the ground and the building’s floor that covers an area of 10,000 sqm. (107639.1 sq.ft. ca.)