An extreme precipitation event in 2008 cost one town more than a million dollars in infrastructure repairs. Now, other municipalities can simulate how their homes, businesses, and facilities might fare if they experienced a similar event.
NE CSC Principal Investigator Ken Potter and Affiliated Investigator David S. Liebl at University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a tool that allows communities to identify vulnerability to high runoff flows and flooding from extreme rainfall events, before damage occurs. Their tool TranStorm is now featured on the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit page!
The historical record of rainfall and projections of future rainfall from climate models both paint a picture of heavier and more frequent extreme storms for Wisconsin in the future. However, the potential for flooding—identified through mapping of areas anticipated to experience flooding once or more per century—is calculated from historical records that don’t reflect today’s changing climate conditions. Combined with the typical municipal approach of adapting to rainfall impacts after a large storm has occurred, many communities are vulnerable to extreme rainfall events.
Photo: Downtown Rock Springs, Wisconsin during June 2008 storm. (credit: Michael Kienitz)