Aging flood-control system needs major update to battle rising sea ... Sun Sentinel

Consultant dives deep into flood risks for Palm Beach

A consultant used computer modeling to simulate hundreds of tropical storms or hurricanes and the flooding they would unleash upon Palm Beach.

Woods Hole Group, an international environmental services firm based in Massachusetts, has spent two years assessing the town’s coastal vulnerability.

That has included modeling the impact of actual storms dating to the 1920s, and those that could occur in the future, on public and private properties throughout the town, said Kirk Bosma, innovation director and senior coastal engineer with Woods Hole.

The $160,000 report is due to be given to the town at the end of February. Far more detailed than FEMA flood mapping, it is the first study of its kind to be have done in Florida, Bosma told the Shore Protection Board on Thursday.

“A lot of coastal communities are at risk,” Bosma said. “You see a lot of information that shows water everywhere. But it doesn’t lead to meaningful action because people don’t know where to start.”

Bosma and Bob Hamilton, coastal engineer and president of Woods Hole Group, appeared before the board to talk about how they approached the massive project and the scope of their work.

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