The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine presents the report Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States. As of today, flooding poses the most significant economic risk and social impact in the United States, of all climate extremes and natural hazards. As a result of our climate crisis, the severity, intensity, and extent of flooding is increasing over time. Further, the book highlights how “…catastrophic flooding from recent hurricanes, including Superstorm Sandy in New York (2012) and Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017), caused billions of dollars in property damage, adversely affected millions of people, and damaged the economic well-being of major metropolitan areas.” Between 2004 and 2014, major freshwater flood events cost an average of 70 lives and $9 billion USD annually in direct damage — excluding the cumulative impacts of frequent, small floods, which can be similar to infrequent, extreme floods. Examining real-world examples in metropolitan areas, such as New York and Houston, Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States identifies similarities and differences in the root causes, adverse impacts, mitigation strategies, and unforeseen issues.

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Policy and Global AffairsDivision on Earth and Life Studies; Program on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events; Water Science and Technology BoardCommittee on Urban Flooding in the United States

(Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25381.)

© 2023 National Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved.

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