Title page for ETD etd-01272004-110513

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Meduri, Nandagopal
Author's Email Address nmedur1@lsu.edu
URN etd-01272004-110513
Title Development of a Methodology to Delineate Hurricane Evacuation Zones
Degree Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)
Department Civil & Environmental Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Chestor Wilmot Committee Chair
Brian Wolshon Committee Member
Sherif Ishak Committee Member
  • hurricanes
  • evacuation zones
  • GIS
Date of Defense 2003-12-18
Availability unrestricted
The main focus of this study is to exhibit a simple and easily implemented process to identify hurricane evacuation zones. The proposed study presents a new methodology to delineate hurricane evacuation zones. The new methodology helps in easier identification of zones, thereby making the task of evacuation officials easier.

Hurricane evacuation zones were identified based on the elevation of the points comprising the study area. An area layer was created based on the storm surge models run, and were overlaid with zip code boundary layer and land use data available. Elevation point file data was superimposed on the study area layer to find out the mean elevation and standard deviation values of elevation, which help in identifying the adjacent zones which are similar in elevation. These zones are grouped together and the process of joining zones is continued until the zones are sufficiently reduced. The entire process was carried out in TransCAD, a Transportation/GIS software package. This task involves an iterative process which would be extremely tedious to perform manually. Hence, the process was automated by writing a customized add-in program to TransCAD.

The study also included the application of this methodology to the New Orleans metropolitan area, it being an ideal test case for implementing the methodology that was developed. The results portray New Orleans area being ideally and conveniently divided into hurricane evacuation zones based on their elevations, zip code and storm surge data.

The GIS program developed during this study provides a framework, which may be built upon and shared with other researchers in the future.

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