Flood risk modelling based on tangible and intangible urban flood damage quantification

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The usual way to quantify flood damage is by application stage-damage functions. Urban flood incidents in flat areas mostly result in intangible damages like traffic disturbance and inconvenience for pedestrians caused by pools at building entrances, on sidewalks and parking spaces. Stage-damage functions are not well suited to quantify damage for these floods. This paper presents an alternative method to quantify flood damage that uses data from a municipal call centre. The data cover a period of 10 years and contain detailed information on consequences of urban flood incidents. Call data are linked to individual flood incidents and then assigned to specific damage classes. The results are used to draw risk curves for a range of flood incidents of increasing damage severity. Risk curves for aggregated groups of damage classes show that total flood risk related to traffic disturbance is larger than risk of damage to private properties, which in turn is larger than flood risk related to human health. Risk curves for detailed damage classes show how distinctions can be made between flood risks related to many types of occupational use in urban areas. This information can be used to support prioritisation of actions for flood risk reduction. Since call data directly convey how citizens are affected by urban flood incidents, they provide valuable information that complements flood risk analysis based on hydraulic models.

Keywords: flood risk, intangible damage, risk curve, urban drainage

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