How Spatial Analysis Kept My Wife Safe during Hurricane Joaquin

Hurricane Joaquin drenched the southeastern United States in October 2015, bringing record rainfall to the region. South Carolina was particularly hard hit; entire towns were flooded, and major highways were closed.

This image was taken September 29, 2015, the day before Tropical Storm Joaquin turned into a hurricane. Haiti and the Dominican Republic are at the bottom of the image. Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.
This image was taken September 29, 2015, the day before Tropical Storm Joaquin turned into a hurricane. Haiti and the Dominican Republic are at the bottom of the image. Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

As the storm heightened to a state of emergency and the government of South Carolina issued a nighttime curfew, challenges for hospitals intensified too. Some hospitals received water deliveries or were required to boil water. Some doctors, nurses, and other staff had to work one or more back-to-back 12-hour shifts.

My wife Kelly is a pediatric nurse in Columbia, South Carolina. She was at work during the heavy rains on October 4. While trying to focus on caring for her patients, she had her own concerns. Was her family at home in danger? Was there flooding in her neighborhood? Would she be able to travel 15 miles home to Lexington safely?

Read full article here.