Climate Change and Flooding
The power of water is evident in the lives of millions of people where oceans, rivers, streams, and storms meet, resulting in flooding, damage, replenished water levels and reservoirs, among other outcomes. Today, the Eversource Energy Center is undertaking a deliberate study of this critical natural resource and its potential impact on electric grid ground-level infrastructure in coastal and riverside areas.
Xinyi Shen (PI), Efthymios Nikolopoulos (co-PI)
“Evaluation of Substations Vulnerability of Flooding in Current and Climate Change Scenarios.”
Eversource Energy has substations located within floodplain areas that are vulnerable to extreme events and climate change effects. This project is developing an early warning system by integrating existing meteorological, hydrological and hydraulic models to estimate potential damage and risk under design flood (specified frequency) and storm scenario conditions at given locations. The 2011 and 2012 tropical storms (Irene and Sandy) in the Northeast were unprecedented in their severity and closeness in timing.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
• Develop accurate 100- and 200-year flood frequencies and extreme event scenarios (Category 2 and 3 hurricanes)
• Integrate multi-year atmospheric reanalysis with a physically based distributed hydrologic simulation model and flow observation network data
• Integrate high-resolution atmospheric simulations of Category 2 and 3 hurricanes with the distributed hydrologic model
• Estimate the risk of failure (overtopping and break) for a nearby dam during flood peaks and evaluate the flooding vulnerability of Freight St. Substation
• Evaluate the inundated area at Branford Substation during flood peaks
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