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Analysis of The Historic Brandywine Creek Flood of 2021

The Brandywine Creek, which flows through a densely populated region of eastern Pennsylvania, flooded repeatedly in 2021, culminating in a record-setting flood resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The Brandywine Creek flood is one of many examples of unprecedented flooding that occurred in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2021, which suggests that any lessons learned […]


Challenges in Developing a Resilience Plan for Coastal Zone Urban Watershed

A stormwater “Resilience Plan” identifies specific drainage improvement projects that could be constructed to improve flood resiliency – specifically for extreme storm events. Resiliency planning addresses how fast and efficiently a system recovers after a major event. Here, resiliency specifically refers to the ability of streets and land parcels to recover from flooding. Improving resiliency […]


Improving Our Understanding of Surface Flooding with 1D-2D SWMM Modeling: Elbow Road Drainage Study

As part of the City of Chesapeake’s Elbow Road improvement efforts, GKY and Associates, Inc. was tasked with creating an existing condition Stormwater Management Model (SWMM). The primary goal of this modeling effort was to help the City and its roadway designers better understand and accommodate drainage in the highly undeveloped, low-lying, and flat watershed. […]


Significance of Field Inspections and Application of Findings

Modeling stormwater facilities accurately in hydraulic programs depends greatly on facility specific characteristics, including stage-storage and elevation-discharge curves. It is typically assumed that these facilities are in ‘good’ operating condition with full design capacity. True field conditions, however, may uncover factors prohibiting these facilities from achieving true design capacities. It is imperative that best management […]


What’s The Big Difference? – A Descriptive Analysis of Common Hydrologic Modeling Programs

One of the first actions when evaluating a design is to select a hydrologic modeling program that evaluates the runoff-storage relationship within a contributing watershed. Sometimes this selection is made quickly without significant consideration of the end goal, or whether model results are comparable between different hydrologic programs. In theory, modelers can employ various hydrologic […]


Lessons Learned from Updating a Stormwater Master Plan

C.J. Bodnar, P.E.1 City of Virginia Beach When completing Stormwater Master Plans (SWMP) and formulating stormwater infrastructure improvement projects, municipalities and their consultants frequently face the difficult decisions of selecting an appropriate technical approach, developing infrastructure projects, and establishing criteria for prioritization of projects.  Over the last 5 years, the City of Virginia Beach has […]


Flood Forecast Alerting based on NOAA’s National Water Model

In 2018, Wood kicked-off a project with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Maryland Environmental Service (MES), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to research the use of NOAA’s National Water Model (NWM) for riverine flood forecasting.  The National Water Model (NWM) “is a hydrologic model that simulates observed and forecast streamflow over […]


The Development of Climate Change Indicator Maps to Improve Estimates of the Design Storm Across Virginia

The design storm is a fundamental parameter for risk and vulnerability assessment of urban infrastructure.  It is traditionally determined from historic observations.  There is however growing recognition that design storm calculations based on historical data may misrepresent flood risk due to future climate change.  To determine if and when the design storm calculation should consider […]


Virginia Beach Stormwater Master Modeling Update

Over the last five years, the City of Virginia Beach has completed the development of the hydrologic and hydraulic models for all 15 drainage basins throughout the City’s nearly 500 square miles. Each of the 15 drainage basins model has been calibrated and validated against data observed during historical storm events that caused flooding in […]