Dewberry Providing Emergency Geospatial Support to FEMA Following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

For Immediate Release
Fairfax, VA | 09.22.2017

Dewberry is currently providing geospatial support, including modeling, imagery analysis, and data interpretation, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana; Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina; and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The technical analyses are assisting FEMA in the agency's response and recovery efforts, including identifying building and infrastructure damage and debris modeling.

Prior to each storm, Dewberry began collecting topographic information for areas expected to fall within the hurricanes' reach. As the storms progressed, the firm's coastal and riverine engineers and geospatial specialists worked in shifts around the clock to create preliminary flood depth grids using peak crest gauge data to depict inundation levels and the extent of the storms' impact from the heavy rains and storm surges. The intent of the preliminary inundation grids is to provide initial situational awareness and better understand the impacts. The geospatial teams use these grids to assist FEMA in determining flood depths and damage extent, including classifications of individual building damage levels, analyses of infrastructure damage, the location of isolated communities, and the extent and location of debris accumulation from flooding events. The aerial imagery, provided by the Civil Air Patrol and NOAA's National Geodetic Survey, is analyzed as well as aerial and spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar, satellite imagery, field reports, and other damage observations.

The work involves personnel from multiple Dewberry offices and is being performed under the firm's U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Remote Sensing for Incidents contract. Dewberry's geospatial specialists performed similar fast-tracked imagery and data analyses following Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew last fall as well as the August 2016 flooding in southern Louisiana. Dewberry has supported FEMA's various programs with technical assistance for more than 40 years.

  • geospatial
  • emergency management
  • FEMA

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Molly Johnson