1994 and 1998 Floods (Natural Disasters) Research Proposal

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¶ … 1994 and 1998 Floods (Natural Disasters) on Albany State University and Albany, Ga. Additionally, creation and implementation of a disaster response plan for future Flooding (natural disasters) in the area

Effects and Response of Major Disasters at a HBCU-Albany State University

Michael V. Fleming

A Proposal for the Capstone Research Project

Research Design and Data Analysis

Dr. Veronica Adams-Cooper

Spring Semester 2010

dependent and independent variables

What are floods?

Analysis of Flint River Basin

Effects of floods

Flooding responses

Long-term responses

Protecting critical infrastructure

The strategy to deal with floods for large rivers

The strategy to deal with floods for major cities

The strategy to deal with floods for small urban basins

strategy to deal with floods for environmental concerns

Aspects of a good flood protection system



The author wishes to express sincere appreciation to the Professors for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. In addition, special thanks to?

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whose familiarity in the area of research, needs and ideas were very helpful during the early programming phase of this undertaking. I would also like to thank her for her patient for guiding me through the whole course. Thanks also to the members of the school panel for their valuable input.

And also special thanks to from the graduate research department for her assistance in guiding my structure of my studies.

Thanks also go to ? For conducting the collating and entering the data for the field studies

Finally, a special thanks to, my loving family and friends for their ongoing support during my studies.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on 1994 and 1998 Floods (Natural Disasters) on Assignment


Disasters have co-existed with humanity and nature since the beginning of time. Despite its history, the term disaster has had an indefinite and circumstantial definition in the relative studies conducted over the years. However, the most commonly accepted definition is that disasters are a single or series of events that need external help to diffuse or manage.

Another aspect, and perhaps the most important aftermath of disasters are the rehabilitation that follows due to the displacement or destruction of property and human life. According to a study conducted by Norris and colleagues, the Red Cross records show that outside of the deaths reported from disasters, an average of 5 million people within the U.S. alone is rehabilitated annually (Norris et al., 2004).

There are of course categories of disasters that bring the least and the most harm to the human race. One of the biggest concerns in the 21st century has been the growing imminence of heightened floods in the coastal regions of the world, both developed and underdeveloped. Floods not only lead to destruction of property and life but also cause long-term problems for the local and national government who need to step up and provide the victims of the flood with permanent relocated homes. One of the biggest examples of such displacement is the 2005 Hurricane Katrina that hit the U.S. Gulf Coast literally causing havoc for one of the most developed nations in the world and leaving the government helpless for timely assistance (Appleseed, 2006). The displacement in the state of New Orleans alone saw more 250,000 people move out of the state permanently in search for a place to live as recorded in the Louisiana Health and Population Survey for the year (Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 2006). "It is known that 90% of flood damage in the United States alone, with totals of over $30 BILLION in damage, is in less than 1 meter of water" (U.S. Flood Control Corp accessed from http://www.usfloodcontrol.com/).

Floods are considered the most destructive of all natural disasters. This is primarily because they are the most commonly occurring; causing the greatest number of deaths, and result in the most damage (Miller, 1999). The city of Albany too has experienced two major floods, in 1994 and in 1998. The floods were a result of Tropical Storm Alberto (TSA) in July 1994 and a regional storm in March 1998. According to Musser & Dyer (2005), it is estimated to have a reoccurrence interval of seventy to ninety-five years with eighty-six thousand feet per second flow of water and a flood elevation of about 187 feet per millisecond. This is quite small compared to the first hit in July 1994 which had a flow of 120,000 cubic feet per second and an elevation of 193 feet.

Albany State University was founded on the banks of the Flint River in 1903 by Dr. Joseph W. Holley. Dr. Holley purchased fifty acres of land on the east banks of the Flint River, in the middle of an agricultural transportation hub in Albany, Ga. It is state that Dr. Holley made the land purchase for less than $50.00 per acre. It is questionable why Albany State was founded in a known flood area that was continuously threatened by the rising waters of the Flint River.

The major disasters, such as the floods of 1994 and 1998 have an unpredictable pattern in occurrence and they definitely affect people, ecosystem balance, social and physical structures. Government (the Board of Regents, et al.) is greatly affected in its policy-making and regulatory decisions as they try to minimize the negative effects of the floods.

These disasters have a great impact on the society and the environment of all life in the proximity of the river basin. During the flood of 1994, more than 75,000 had to be evacuated. In 1998, nearly 20,000 people were evacuated.

Statement of Problem

Natural disasters impact communities around the world. The major problem that I will focus on is the effects that floods have on Albany State University and the responses that such floods received in the two major flood occurrences of 1994 and 1998. The question of what impact or effect major disasters have on HBCU, especially since HBCU are normally more economically challenged than their counterparts, is worthy of investigation. The response to disasters should also be researched to determine the 'best' route to full recovery during and after a major disastrous event.

Two floods in had a severe economic impact on Albany State University. Almost all (over 70%) of the lower campus sustained major damage from the Flood of 1994, and also 1998. Since then, the campus has almost tripled in size, the student enrollment has more than doubled in size and the faculty and staff has doubled its numbers, and the economic impact to the city has nearly tripled (Humphrey, 2007).

The two floods have had a serious impact on the environment, the health and economy of Albany State University and Dougherty County.

Environmentally, economically and culturally, the two floods have opportunities for us to evaluate the effects and the response efforts. Even though ASU is my targeted research area, Albany and the surrounding area also felt the effects of the floods of 1994 and 1998.

The impact to Albany and the surrounding area was not only direct, but also it felt the collateral effects of having a major financial and social institution as it went through the recovery pains suffered at the turbulent flood waters. Everyone in the Albany State University / Albany, Ga. Community was affected in some way.

The responses developed might be used as a prototype to future disasters. That will be determined as we continue to research and evaluate our findings. Response efforts can be divided into three main categories: the immediate response, short-term aid and the long-term response plan. The long-term responses include the construction of levees, implementation of a flood plain analysis system, proper land legislation to avoid improper development and the creation of a flood tracking chart as done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Short-term response would include the provision of alternate housing, the consolidation of funds for sustainability for the affected individuals and the EPA safeguards regarding infected flood areas. Immediate response includes, but is not limited to the provision of basic needs, evacuation and resettlement, emergency aid and the overall elimination of dangers upon flooding through emergency mitigation and response efforts.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to study the significance of the effects of the 1994 and 1998 Floods (Natural Disasters) on Albany State University and Albany State. Additionally, the study aims to reveal future disaster/flooding response plans being created and implemented in the area.

Research Questions

What were the effects of the 1994 and 1998 Floods (Natural Disasters) on Albany State University and Albany State?

What future disaster/flooding response plans are being created and implemented in the area?

With regards to the effects of the 1994 and 1998 Floods (Natural Disasters) on Albany State University and Albany State, the research and null hypothesis will be:

Research hypothesis

The effects exposed the weak infrastructure and poor government planning and response.

Null hypothesis

The effects showed a strong infrastructure and good government planning and response.

With regards to the future disaster/flooding response plans, the research and null hypothesis will be:

Research hypothesis

A comprehensive strategy is in place for future responses

Null Hypothesis


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