Fighting future floods: Marshall University students and professor work to reduce flood risks in Rainelle, West Virginia


HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Civil engineering students and their professor at Marshall University are pitching in on a flood mitigation program designed to help the Rainelle, West Virginia area which has suffered numerous and costly floods in recent decades.

Dr. Richard Begley and his students Alex Toler and James Dishner, among others, have gathered data, created simulations and also produced flood inundation maps that will be used in the future in decision making as well as planning purposes to alleviate flooding.

Recently, FEMA granted Rainelle more than 1 million dollars for efforts to help solve flooding issues in that part of Greenbrier County which saw fatal floods in 2016 as well as other flood events in 2011 and 2003.

Historically the area has seen several floods because of the runoff from the hilly terrain as well as the presence of other creeks and the Meadow River which has several twists and turns along with a low slope which makes the water run slower where the town is located.

Drainage from more than 25-thousand acres of the mountainous terrain has to navigate four 90 degree turns in less than half a mile according to Dr. Begley.

In this video discussion with Professor Begley and his students, we discuss what work they performed to help try to solve the flooding problems there, see samples of their work and talk to the students about real-world applications of their studies and how the Marshall University civil engineering program is preparing them for the workforce.

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