Open Access Honors Program Thesis
One of the main research questions for this thesis is what factors caused the flooding last summer and why was it so extreme? This is an important question to answer because it is vital to understand what causes a flood of this magnitude so communities can take steps to avoid or minimize damage that may result from floods in the future. The second question is what impact does this flood have on flood insurance? Flood insurance is one tool used to protect property owners from substantial loss due to flooding and plays a vital role in recovery after a flood, determining who is able to repair and continue occupying flood damaged properties. The third question is what is the probability of a flood like this recurring? This will show that even though the situation in Cedar Rapids was rare, floods are occurring more frequently and severely. The final question is how many years will pass until the next flood hits, being of same or greater level, and by how much will the next flood exceed the previous extreme record? The people of Cedar Rapids never imagined that a flood of this scale could happen, but it did and citizens must be prepared and aware that it is possible for a flood of greater proportions to hit.
This thesis will give information on the various factors that contributed to the flood so that more research can be done as to what changes will help avoid or minimize future floods. Also, statistical estimates from data analysis of recurrence intervals and flow duration will be found. These estimates will show that floods are occurring more frequently and are becoming more severe. It is necessary to understand more about flooding because as Cedar Rapids has shown, floods have the ability to devastate a community.
Year of Submission
Department of Mathematics
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (36 pages)
©2009 Beth Kolsrud
Kolsrud, Beth, "Cedar Rapids Flood of 2008: Manmade or Statistical Anomaly?" (2009). Honors Program Theses. 774.