Engineers are designing for an increasingly soggy future in a rough industrial bay west of
Savannah Trims, a decades-old company based in
Led by former Army combat engineer
The company's products range from hurricane shutter-like removable flood barriers that create a dry moat around businesses, to watertight doors and special glass that repels water and the barreling debris that gets caught in it.
"The projects are getting larger and more complicated," Kennedy said. "There is a fear of water now. When Sandy hit, everything went crazy."
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Hurricane Sandy, a massive 2012 cyclone that was designated post-tropical before making landfall
More recent storms -- 2018's Cat 5 Michael, which wiped out
"It's primarily big buildings or critical facilities wanting to install these kinds of flood gates and barriers because of what has occurred in past storms," said Coulbourne, who has more than 20 years' experience working with
Coulbourne notes that the type of flood protection provided by Savannah Trims is for commercial buildings or the lobby areas of residential structures such as condominiums.
The National Flood Insurance Program provides insurance for new and remodeled construction that have flood-proofed the space below the base flood elevation to meet established criteria. The flood-proofed area must be certified to meet the criteria by a design professional.
"If there are enough situations where people are affected by nuisance flooding with king tides, we might see more homes have an interest in this type of flood proofing," he said.
Some experts hope it will go further than what
'We're seeing just the beginning of flood hardening'
His firm, based in
Still, he said any flood-proofing is better than nothing.
"I think we are seeing just the beginning of flood hardening," Slap said.
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Savannah Trims has built removable flood barriers for stores on
Every job is different, Kennedy said.
They built a sliding gate for a power plant in
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The company designed and installed a flood-proof glass enclosed elevator entrance for the
"With intense weather events like Superstorm Sandy expected to occur more often, we need to act now to protect this vital part of our system, so we can keep trains running safely," the announcement stated.
##youtube_1## Savannah Trims' single biggest contract -- about
"There is very little we won't tackle," Kennedy said.
High school basement flooded with turtles and fish
"The basement and sub-basement were full of water up to about 13 feet," Cahill said. "There were turtles and fish and everything else under the sun in it."
Cahill said the diocese considered flood-proofing before Sandy rolled through but "it just wasn't as high on the priority list as it should have been."
Climate scientists are predicting the most severe kinds of hurricanes will happen more often as the world warms. That includes storms with flooding rains, escalating intensities and swollen storm surge riding on rising seas.
High-tide records were set in
Even without a hurricane, coastal tidal flooding is overwhelming streets from
At least 10 days in November set high-tide records at Virginia Key near
Sunny day flooding today on
"There's absolutely more awareness to the flooding," Cahill said.
Only a handful of companies nationwide are in the business of building significant flood control structures, Kennedy said.
One of his competitors,
"There are about five of us in the space," Goldberg said. "Business has definitely grown and changed."
Kennedy said his business has increased 70 percent since 2018, requiring contracts with three new engineering firms and an increase in space from 4,800 square feet to 23,000.
"This whole thing keeps evolving," he said. "Every project we do is a new exercise in engineering."
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