NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES

Volume One

THE NEW YEAR'S EVE FLOOD ON OAHU, HAWAII DECEMBER 31, 1987-JANUARY 1, 1988

Prepared by:

John A. Dracup (Team Leader),

Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Civil Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles

Edmond D. H. Cheng,

Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu

Joanne M. Nigg,

Director, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, Newark

Thomas A. Schroeder,

Assistant Professor, Department of Meteorology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu

For:

Committee on Natural Disasters

Division of Natural Hazard Mitigation

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1991



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES Volume One THE NEW YEAR'S EVE FLOOD ON OAHU, HAWAII DECEMBER 31, 1987-JANUARY 1, 1988 Prepared by: John A. Dracup (Team Leader), Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Civil Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles Edmond D. H. Cheng, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu Joanne M. Nigg, Director, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, Newark Thomas A. Schroeder, Assistant Professor, Department of Meteorology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu For: Committee on Natural Disasters Division of Natural Hazard Mitigation Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 90-63994 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04433-2 A limited number of copies of this report are available from: Committee on Natural Disasters, HA 286 National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 202/334-3312 Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 202/334-3313 1-800-624-6242 Printed in the United States of America S-285

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES An Investigative Series of the Committee on Natural Disasters The Committee on Natural Disasters and its predecessors, dating back to the committee that studied the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, have conducted on-site studies and prepared reports reflecting their findings and recommendations on the mitigation of natural disaster effects. Objectives of the committee are to: record time-sensitive information immediately following disasters; provide guidance on how engineering and the social sciences can best be applied to the improvement of public safety; recommend research needed to advance the state of the art in the area of natural disaster reduction; and conduct special studies to address long-term issues in natural disasters, particularly issues of a multiple-hazard nature. EDITOR Riley M. Chung National Research Council EDITORIAL BOARD Dennis S. Mileti, Chairman Colorado State University Fort Collins Nobert S. Baer New York University New York, New York Earl J. Baker Florida State University Tallahassee Arthur N. L. Chiu University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu Hanna J. Cortner University of Arizona Tucson Peter Gergely Cornell University Ithaca, New York Joseph H. Golden National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Washington, D.C. Wilfred D. Iwan California Institute of Technology Pasadena Ahsan Kareem University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana Dale C. Perry Texas A&M University College Station William J. Petak University of Southern California Los Angeles Robert L. Schuster U.S. Geological Survey Denver, Colorado SPONSORING AGENCIES Federal Emergency Management Agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Science Foundation

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 INVITATION FOR DISCUSSION Materials presented in Natural Disaster Studies often contain observations and statements that inspire debate. Readers interested in contributing to the discussion surrounding any topic contained in the journal may do so in the form of a letter to the editor. Letters will be reviewed by the editorial board, and if considered appropriate, printed in subsequent issues of Natural Disaster Studies.

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 COMMITTEE ON NATURAL DISASTERS (1987–1990) NORBERT S. BAER, Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York JAY BAKER, Department of Geography, Florida State University, Tallahassee ARTHUR N. L. CHIU, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu HANNA J. CORTNER, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson JOHN A. DRACUP, Civil Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles DANNY L. FREAD, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland PETER GERGELY, Department of Structural Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York JOSEPH H. GOLDEN, Chief Scientist Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C. WILFRED D. IWAN, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena AHSAN KAREEM, Civil Engineering Department, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana DENNIS S. MILETI, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins JOSEPH PENZIEN, Department of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley DALE C. PERRY, Department of Construction Science, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station WILLIAM J. PETAK, Institute of Safety and Systems Management, University of Southern California, Los Angeles ROBERT L. SCHUSTER, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado RANDALL G. UPDIKE, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia Staff RILEY M. CHUNG, Director BARBARA BODLING, Editor SUSAN R. MCCUTCHEN, Administrative Assistant GREGORY A. MOCK, Editor SHIRLEY J. WHITLEY, Project Assistant

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 Liaison Representatives WILLIAM A. ANDERSON, Earthquake Systems Integration, Division of Biological and Critical Systems, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. BRUCE A. BAUGHMAN, Hazard Mitigation Branch, Public Assistance Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C. FRED COLE, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. ROBERT D. GALE (deceased), U.S. Department of Agriculture/Forest Service, Washington, D.C. EDWARD M. GROSS, Constituent Affairs and Industrial Meteorology Staff, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland WILLIAM HOOKE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C. PAUL KRUMPE, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. ELEONORA SABADELL, Division of Biological and Critical Systems, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. GERALD F. WIECZOREK, Office of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Engineering, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia ARTHUR J. ZEIZEL, Office of Natural and Technological Hazards Programs, State and Local Programs and Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C. LAWRENCE W. ZENSINGER (Alternate), Office of Disaster Assistance Programs, State and Local Programs and Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 Acknowledgments This report was prepared for the Committee on Natural Disasters, National Research Council. The study team expresses its appreciation to the many individuals, organizations, and agencies that provided information and suggestions for the report, including the following: R. K. AHULAU, American Red Cross, Honolulu FRANK APEL, Oahu Civil Defense Agency, City and County of Honolulu THOMAS BATEY, Hawaii State Department of Defense, Honolulu CHI-PIN CHANG, Department of Public Works, City and County of Honolulu WILLIAM CHANG, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu SALWYN CHINN, U.S. Geological Survey, Honolulu DONALD CLEGG, Department of General Planning, City and County of Honolulu DEEONA COLUMBIA, University of California, Los Angeles JOHN G. EMMERSON, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu MARVINFUKAGAWA, Department of Public Works, City and County of Honolulu DONALD GRANSBACK, Hawaii State Department of Civil Defense, Honolulu BEN HABLUTZEL, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Honolulu PAUL HARAGUCHI, Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honolulu MICHAEL HAYAMA, Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Honolulu District Office RANDALL R. INOUYE, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu GEORGE L. KEKUNA, Oahu Civil Defense Agency, City and County of Honolulu CLARENCE LEE, National Weather Service, Honolulu JAMES LUM, Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Honolulu IWAO MATSUOKA, U.S. Geological Survey, Honolulu BILL MEYER, U.S. Geological Survey, Honolulu

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 STEVE MIYAMOTO, Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honolulu DAN MCKENNA, Department of Meteorology, University of Hawaii RICHARD NAKAHARA, U.S. Geological Survey, Honolulu HARRY NAKASHIMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu LOUIS ODA, University of Hawaii JAMES PENNAZ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu HANS ROSENDAHL, National Weather Service, Honolulu WILLIAM SATORIS, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Seattle, Washington MALCOLM SUSSEL, Oahu Civil Defense Agency, City and County of Honolulu ALFRED THIEDE, Department of Public Works, City and County of Honolulu DARYL F. WAIT, Federal Emergency Management Agency, San Francisco, California DAVID VARGO, American Red Cross, Burlingame, California CHIP WANNER, U.S. Army Corps Engineers, Honolulu STRATFORD WHITING, Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Honolulu GEORGE YOUNG, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 Preface The flood that greeted the new year in 1988 brought home the uncomfortable realization that many suburban areas of eastern Oahu are at risk from sudden and, in some cases, unpredictable flooding. Torrential rains fell over the southeastern portion of the island on New Year's Eve, precipitating major flooding in several suburban neighborhoods and resulting in $34 million in damages. Neither the current meteorological capabilities nor the present flood control structures proved adequate to predict or control the deluge. The present report seeks to document and analyze the meteorological conditions leading to the torrential rains, the causes and patterns of flooding, the performance of flood control structures in the affected areas, the extent of damages, and the effectiveness of local emergency response and recovery actions. Conclusions and recommendations are drawn from the analyses. This document will be of special interest to state and local hydrologists, floodplain managers, meteorologists, and disaster response personnel. It is written with the goal of improving existing flood control facilities and forecasting abilities. In particular, it addresses the current lack of consideration of sediment and debris flows in flood flow analyses of affected areas, as well as the lack of adequate weather radar on Oahu. The findings presented here are the result of observations made on January 6–13, 1988, by a study team assembled by the Committee on Natural Disasters, a standing committee of the National Research Council. The study team's independent assessments of the meteorological conditions, emergency response efforts, and flood damage and hydrology form the basis of this report.

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   7     Floods as Natural Disasters   7     Expected Level of Flood Protection   7 2   MANAGEMENT OF THE DISASTER EVENT   9     Emergency Warning Procedures   9     The Predisaster Period   10     The New Year's Eve Storm   12     Emergency Management and Hazard-Mitigation Concerns   16 3   METEOROLOGY   18     Introduction   18     Meteorological Conditions on December 31, 1987   19     Radar and Sounding Analysis   20     Rainfall Distribution   24     Rainfall Recurrence Intervals   27     A Model of the New Year's Eve Storm   30     Wind Damage   32 4   HYDROLOGY AND HYDRAULICS   33     Stream Runoff Data and Recurrence Intervals   33     Kawainui Marsh Flooding   35     Sediment, Debris, and Landslides from the Storm   40     Storm Drainage Standards   43     Postdisaster Studies   50

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 5   FLOODPLAIN MAPPING   51     Floodplain Management on Oahu   52     Damage from the New Year's Eve Flood Event   52 6   LIFELINES   55     Transportation and Roads   55     Air Transportation   56     Electric Power   56     Communications   56     Water Supply   57     Sewer Systems   57     Kahena Street   57 7   DISASTER RECOVERY   58     The Recovery Period   58     The Emergence of Conflict   60 8   CONCLUSIONS   62     Weather Forecast and Storm Warning Performance   62     Cause of the Flood Event   63     Emergency Response and Initial Recovery   64     Floodplain Management   65 9   RECOMMENDATIONS   66     Meteorology   66     Hydrology   67     The Warning System   67     Floodplain Management and the Flood Insurance Program   68     REFERENCES   70

OCR for page R1
The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987–January 1, 1988 The New Year's Eve Flood on Oahu, Hawaii December 31, 1987 — January 1, 1988