For Immediate Release: June 1, 2009
Contact: Chris Macaluso
****Please note, this release was originally published on www.lsu.edu****
LSU Hurricane Center Partners With National Weather Service, Governor's Office
Partnership will provide emergency management officials with best available technology
BATON ROUGE - The LSU Hurricane Center has announced it will join forces with the New Orleans/Baton Rouge National Weather Service, or NWS, and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, or GOHSEP, along with the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, or OCPR, in order to provide emergency response officials with the highest quality tools and technology available today.
This partnership will allow top-notch researchers at the state's flagship university to focus on developing new and advanced technology and tools for use by public safety officials. It includes collaboration with the Institute of Marine Science at the University of North Carolina, or UNC, and the Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame.
The Hurricane Center will utilize combined campus research capabilities and top tier faculty to develop the tools necessary for Louisiana to develop a world class hurricane response effort. Participants include WAVCIS, the Earth Scan Laboratory, civil and environmental research laboratories, the Louisiana Geological Survey and the NOAA Southern Regional Climate Center located on campus, among others. These tools will improve forecasts by providing state of the art simulation estimates of storm surge and other environmental conditions that can be used to guide emergency response and first responder activities.
"Our responsibility to public safety is a top priority of our research enterprise," said Twilley. "That's why we want to provide the emergency management officials with top tier technology so that they can use the science developed at LSU and other universities in order to facilitate forecasting and decisions necessary prior to a hurricane or coastal event."
The reports generated by CERA are meant to supplement and enhance reports already delivered to emergency officials during a crisis.
Ken Graham, the Meteorologist-in-Charge at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Slidell, LA said "Similar to the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., where the latest tornado research is quickly transferred to operations, we need to build the same relationship in Louisiana for storm surge inundation. The latest inundation research and modeling data can be quickly transferred to NWS operations where life saving decision support information is given. This renewed emphasis on a partnership between LSU and the NWS is the start to building such inundation expertise through a collaborative effort."
"We are committed to working with our partners to keep the citizens of Louisiana informed and safe. We are in constant contact with the National Weather Service during severe weather events and knowing they are using the highest quality equipment available instills even more confidence in this partnership. During hurricanes Gustav and Ike, NWS provided invaluable information to Governor Bobby Jindal and his Unified Command Group to help the leaders of the state make key decisions," said GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper. "Also, working with the state's flagship university enhances our ability to pursue the most up to date information possible," Cooper added.
"Quick access to accurate information is critical to ensuring that we identify and address any hot spots before and during emergencies. This partnership will help to save lives," said Garret Graves, Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
"This research to operations joint venture is one of few examples in the United States where such sophisticated technology and expertise can be utilized in an operational setting to directly link research to public safety through authorized channels of homeland security," said Twilley. "This is a comprehensive, coordinated effort that draws from LSU's sustained expertise in coastal research."
The mission of the LSU Hurricane Center is to advance the state of knowledge of hurricanes and their impacts on the natural, built and human environments; to stimulate new interdisciplinary/collaborative research activities; to transfer this knowledge and technology to students and professionals in concerned disciplines; and to assist the state, the nation and the world in solving hurricane-related problems.
Contact Ashley Berthelot
LSU Media Relations
National Weather Service Forecast Office, Slidell, LA
Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration/
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's mandate is to develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration master plan. For the first time in Louisiana's history, this single state authority will integrate coastal restoration and hurricane protection by marshalling the expertise and resources of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development, and other state agencies, to speak with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana's coast. Working with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, the CPRA will work to establish a safe and sustainable coast that will protect our communities, the nation's critical energy infrastructure, and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come. The CPRA of Louisiana was established by Act 8 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2005.