All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Rouzbeh Ross Nazari

Advisory Committee Members

Maryam E Karimi

Wesley C Zech

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) School of Engineering


Storm surge, high-intensity rainfall, and sea level rise have seriously threatened the critical infrastructure of these coastal cities and the lives and properties of urban residents. Understanding the impact of a single extreme event and a cascade of extreme events on coastal cities can help people better understand the expected damage, thereby providing a theoretical basis for delineating the path of mitigation and recovery plans. Therefore, this thesis takes the two coastal cities of New York City (NYC) and the City of Mobile as case studies. Two different research methods are used to evaluate the impact of storm surge, high-intensity rainfall, and sea level rise on these coastal cities. The study first explored the impact of these extreme events on the wastewater treatment system in NYC. A total of 14 wastewater treatment plants in NYC were used as study objects. The study created the sub-basin database, and based on the database used the Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model, runoff models, and the raster data of sea level rise provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to draw inundation maps. Besides, the equation for calculating the amount of damage provided by the Hazus-MH was used to evaluate the impact of extreme events on wastewater treatment plants. It can be found from the study that analyzing the impact of extreme events on wastewater treatment plants with sub-basins can make the analysis results more detailed and accurate. From the analysis results, storm surge had the largest impacts on flood depths around wastewater treatment plants, followed by high-intensity rainfall. In the second half of the study, the impact of cascading events on the high-income and low-income areas and different races of the City of Mobile was explored based on the concept of total water level (TWL). This study used the 2D model of HEC-RAS for unstable flow analysis to simulate cascading events. By choosing the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Curve Number as the infiltration method and setting the boundary conditions, the flood situation of the cascade event was simulated. After verifying the performance of the model, the simulation results were exported to ArcGIS. By analyzing the flooded conditions of the buildings, the impact of the total water level rise caused by the impact cascade event was evaluated. This study's results show that HEC-RAS performs not well in the simulation of the total water level during cascading events. And in the subsequent analysis, it can be known that low-income areas are more vulnerable to flooding than high-income areas, and the largest population affected by the flood of all races is black. This study evaluated the feasibility of two flood analysis methods and can provide a theoretical basis for the government to make responsible decisions when disasters happen and to prevent possible disasters in the future.

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