The Role of the Interior in Accurately Classifying Flood Damage to Homes and Businesses

E. J. Sutley, T. Tomiczek, M. Dillard, M. Koliou, D. Deniz, S. Hamidehand J. W. van de Lindt, J. Mitrani-Reiser, A. R. Barbosa, M. Watson, Y. Xiao, J. Helgeson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract


In January 2018, the Center of Excellence on Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning, with collaborators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, conducted an interdisciplinary, recovery-based field study in Lumberton, North Carolina. This field study was the second wave in what is to be a series of longitudinal field studies aimed at documenting the initial damage and recovery process of a diverse community impacted by a major flood event caused by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. The residential and business sectors were the primary focus of the second field study. Structured surveys were carried out across a stratified sample of housing units and businesses, within and outside the inundation area, to document damage, repair progress, availability, and timing of recovery resources, and recovery progress using a series of sector-specific indicators. Preliminary findings indicate that one year after the flooding, the community is only in the early stages of recovery.

Prompt 3: Has your research contributed to innovative data collection strategies? If so, please elaborate.
The first wave of our data collection was conducted approximately one month after flooding in Lumberton, North Carolina. Detailed, component-based engineering damage evaluations classified initial damage to residential structures. Evaluations were based on observed exterior conditions and housing cleanup debris material left on the street. Due to the degree of population dislocation, many units were unoccupied, preventing the team from assessing interior damage and confirming high water marks. The second wave, performed approximately one year later, surveyed the same households. Survey respondents were asked about water height inside the home, damage to the home and belongings, and repairs to restore structural and nonstructural building components. This approach was conducted for homes and businesses during the second wave. It was observed that knowledge of the interior was critical for accurate flood-induced damage assessment and classification. In addition, the new data underscored the need for longitudinal field studies for holistic reconnaissance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Researchers Meeting, International Research Committee on Disasters and the Natural Hazards Center

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