Flood Risk Assessment for the Vulnerable Populations and Infrastructure: Village Creek, Birmingham, Alabama
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Geology and Geography
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Urban flooding is a prominent natural hazard in Village Creek that is associated with the large expanse of impervious surfaces in the area, which enhance storm runoff and overwhelm the drainage capacity of the storm sewer system. While some areas possess physical characteristics that make them more vulnerable to urban flooding, others possess socio-economic characteristics that make them more vulnerable to the impacts of flooding. This study assessed flood risk in Village Creek by evaluating both physical and social vulnerability factors. Flood zone and demographic data for this project were obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Census Bureau. The FEMA flood zone maps were used to identify the location and the total area likely to be inundated during floods, and the infrastructure and roads likely to be affected. The Census data were used to identify the total population within the flood hazard zones, and a social vulnerability index was developed to identify the more vulnerable populations within the hazard zones. The findings of the study will contribute to hazards management efforts to reduce vulnerability in the city, which will enhance Village Creek’s resilience to flood hazards in the future.