The University of Alabama Center for Complex Hydrosystems Research is conducting a study that aims to enhance flood preparedness locally and in coastal communities. With hurricane season in full swing, the southeast can expect to deal with several tropical storms in the weeks to come.

These storms wreak all kinds of havoc on the areas they impact. Most people associate tropical systems with high-speed winds and heavy rain but overlook their ability to create dangerous flooding -- a problem that was made all too familiar last month when Tropical Storm Claudette caused widespread flooding and claimed two lives in the Tuscaloosa area.

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Dr. Hamid Moradkhani is the director of the Center for Complex Hydrosystems Research. He leads a team of UA researchers and is backed by a $2.84 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Research and Development Center. The grant was awarded to the team in hopes they could develop more effective ways to help prevent hurricane-driven flooding in the southeast.

The CCHR is making efforts to map out potential flooding zones along the southeastern coastline of the U.S. and in inland areas that are also at risk. The idea is that emergency responders have a plan prepared long before a storm arrives and can allocate resources to help reduce damage and loss of life.

In a June press release, Moradkhani detailed the center's plans for the research.

"The institute is also working on technology that provides a forecast for hurricane-driven flooding on a near real-time basis which has various emergency response implications," Moradkhani said.

As this research continues and technologies are developed, the Center hopes preventing floods or at least mitigating the damage they cause will be an easier task in Alabama.

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