News: Hurricane Matthew

crc_logo2016/10/17 – DHS CRCoE
Coastal Resilience Center researchers, partners aid in Hurricane Matthew preparation and recovery

Dr. Casey Dietrich of NCSU, whose CRC project focuses on improving the speed of ADCIRC modeling, visited the North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) State Emergency Operations Center to see NCEM’s operation and workflow during storm response. Dietrich said emergency managers were excited about the data provided by ADCIRC predictions.

“They are using both the CERA site and the shapefiles we are generating,” Dietrich said. “The shapefiles are being combined manually with other datasets to determine the potential flood damages, in terms of both number and cost of buildings and infrastructure.”

Dietrich said that ADCIRC predictions have compared favorably to post-storm high-water marks and U.S. Geological Survey measurements of storm surge.

“Their comparisons after Hermine showed matches within a foot to the peak water levels,” Dietrich said. “They described ADCIRC as their eyes on the coast.”

Dietrich’s work with ADCIRC to provide more accurate storm surge estimates for North Carolina is also partially funded by the North Carolina Sea Grant and the National Consortium for Data Science.

The CERA website is used during Hurricane Matthew preparations at the NCEM Emergency Operations Center.

The CERA website is used during Hurricane Matthew preparations at the NCEM Emergency Operations Center.

ncsu-engr2016/10/06 – CCEE
Dietrich Aiding Efforts to Forecast Flooding during Hurricane Matthew

As Hurricane Matthew approaches Florida and prepares to move up the U.S. east coast, researchers in North Carolina are running models to forecast the storm surge and coastal flooding. Dr. Casey Dietrich is working with collaborators at the University of North Carolina, the Renaissance Computing Institute, and Seahorse Coastal Consulting to generate and share guidance during the storm. The models are run every 6 hours, and they provide high-resolution forecasts of possible flooding throughout the NC coast. The forecasts can be found at: Dietrich is providing forecast guidance to NC Emergency Management, for use in decisions about evacuation and resource deployment. This real-time forecasting is part of a research project to downscale the model results and provide them in formats tailored to the needs of emergency managers.

Forecast of coastal flooding due to Hurricane Matthew (2016).

Forecast of coastal flooding due to Hurricane Matthew (2016).

Nelson Tull


Master’s Student (Graduate Research Assistant)
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
North Carolina State University
Mann Hall, Room 428
2501 Stinson Drive
Raleigh NC 27607

I am a first-year Master’s student in the Coastal and Computational Hydraulics Team at NC State. As an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, I became interested in water resources engineering and numerical modeling. My undergraduate research experience in groundwater modeling and my appreciation of numerical modeling and fluid mechanics led to an opportunity to study coastal and computational hydraulics at NC State.

The North Carolina Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN, is used by NC Emergency Management for decision support regarding flooding. My current research project involves connecting ADCIRC forecast data to the geospatial dataset used by FIMAN for the purpose of providing emergency managers with more accessible and convenient visualization of coastal flooding forecasts in real-time. This involves downscaling the ADCIRC forecast data to meet the resolution of the FIMAN datasets, and examining the impact of such downscaling on forecast accuracy.



North Carolina State University

  • Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
    • Graduate Research Assistant, Aug. 2016 to Present
    • Teaching Assistant, Aug. 2016 to Present
    • Guest Lecturer, CE 382 Hydraulics, Nov. 14 – Nov. 16

University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Undergraduate Research Assistant (EWRE), Sep. 2015 to May 2016
    • Teaching Assistant, Spring 2015
    • Undergraduate Research Assistant (Transportation), Sep. 2013 to Dec. 2014



B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 2016
  • Summa Cum Laude
  • Commonwealth Honors College Scholar with greatest distinction


Honors and Awards

  • Louis V. Achilles Memorial Scholarship (2016)
  • College of Engineering Scholarship (2013)
  • Chancellor’s Scholarship (2012-2016)


Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers



  • FE Exam, passed July 2016

Mapping and Visualization of Coastal Flood Forecasts for Decision Support

The goal of this proposed research is to enable data-driven decision-making for coastal communities during storm events. The ADCIRC forecast data will be connected to geospatial databases for use by emergency managers to consider inundation and damages during storm scenarios. The critical objectives of this proposed research are (1) downscaling the model forecast data to the resolution of geospatial datasets used for decision support, (2) assessing the implications of this downscaling on forecast accuracy, and (3) connecting these technologies with an end user, specifically the NC Emergency Management.

JC Dietrich. “Mapping and Visualization of Coastal Flood Forecasts for Decision Support.” National Consortium for Data Science, Data Fellows, 2016/07/01 to 2017/06/30, $50,000 (Dietrich: $50,000).

News: National Consortium for Data Science chooses Data Fellows

ncds2016/04/28 – NCDS
National Consortium for Data Science chooses researchers from three universities as 2016 -2017 Data Fellows

Three researchers located at Drexel University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been named 2016 -2017 Data Fellows by the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) the consortium announced today.

Researchers in North Carolina use the Advanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model to provide real-time information about storm surge, water inundation, wind speeds, and wave heights during coastal storms. These models are produced constantly during major storms, however, communicating the information in the simulations to end users, such as emergency managers, is more challenging. This project will use visualization techniques to bring ADCIRC model data to emergency managers so they can quickly identify, analyze, and disseminate information about high-risk areas. By incorporating the model data with other data sources, the researchers hope to enable informed decision-making about evacuations and other disaster management efforts.