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Nov 14, 2012 11:11 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Storm Surge Expert To Speak At Southampton College Campus Friday

Nov 14, 2012 11:21 AM

A Stony Brook University professor and nationally recognized expert on storm surge will host a discussion of the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy at the Stony Brook Southampton campus on Friday night.

The speaker is professor Malcom Bowman Ph.D., a distinguished service professor of physical oceanography at the university’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Bowman is the head of the school’s Storm Surge Group, which studies prediction and modeling of storm surge effects, those affecting the New York Metropolitan region in particular. He also is a member of a group that is studying flooding along the shores of the landlocked Black Sea in southeastern Europe.

The work the group has done on modeling the dangers posed by storm surges in the low-lying areas around New York City has received much national attention in the weeks since Sandy pushed a storm surge as high as 14 feet into the New York Bight and Long Island Sound. Dr. Bowman himself had warned for years before the storm that the region around New York Harbor was especially vulnerable to the flooding effects of a high storm surge, the bulge of water pushed ashore ahead of a large storm system.

Among the possibilities suggested by Dr. Bowman’s group for protecting parts of the region from future storm surges, particularly portions of lower Manhattan that sit just a few feet above sea level, is a series of large storm barriers placed at three strategic choke points around New York Harbor that could be closed for a short period when a storm was approaching, and that would hold back the rising water.

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