Hurricanes are categorized by wind speed, but the real danger is water. Storm surges, flooding and other water issues cause 88% of hurricane-related deaths in the United States, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Engineers are helping cities prepare. Princeton University engineers designed giant, concrete umbrellas that can pivot to form barriers that protect against nearly 20-foot-high storm surges. When upright, the umbrellas provide shade for pedestrians.
At Texas A&M University, engineers forecast flooding using the same contagion model as infectious diseases. They map high-risk roads, giving city officials, residents and first responders critical information for preparation and rescue efforts.
– Melissa Price, The Engineering 100