Managing Flood Damage for East Palo Alto


by : 
Siddhant A.


The San Francisquito Creek of East Palo Alto flooded 20 years ago, costing millions of dollars in damage costs. The most common method of flood management is building levees or walls to prevent the water from escaping the creek. However, many city or state government programs ignore factors such as climate change and unintended consequences such as flooding upstream of the newly build levees. Instead, they only focus on cost-efficiency and functionality. Using an array of historical flood data and putting it into a statistical simulation, all these important factors will be accounted for to produce a damage cost. Based on this, it is expected to deduce how the levees should be constructed in order to minimize the chance of failure in flood management.

Personal Statement

California is one of the most disaster-prone states, suffering from earthquakes, forest fires, landslides, flooding, and even tsunamis. Especially in the Bay Area, where damages to land are extremely costly, I thought that it would be very impactful to find a better, more permanent solution to the dangerous flooding that happened locally in East Palo Alto’s San Francisquito Creek. Through my work in AAR, I found that my research methodologies could actually be applied to issues of flooding around the world. Overall, we could bring flood damages down to a number we don’t have to fear.