Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

David W. Watkins

Committee Member 1

Rudiger Escobar Wolf

Committee Member 2

Veronica L. Webster

Committee Member 3

Melanie Kueber Watkins


The 2018 Father’s Day Flood rattled the Houghton County, MI community. Thousands of dollars in damage to public and private property were incurred due to slope failure, scour and stagnant water. Though the flood was billed as a once-in-a-lifetime event, hazard mitigation planning has become essential, as extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent with a changing climate. While Federal Emergency Management Agency funding will provide detailed flood hazard maps in the future, mapping is expected to be several years out. To aid the City of Houghton community with immediate flood hazard mitigation planning, a hydraulic-based flood depth map was created for the Huron Creek Watershed. Utilizing the HEC-GeoRAS extension within the ArcGIS software, channel cross sections were drawn from a pre-flood 2018 digital elevation model. The cross sections were then imported to HEC-RAS software, where flow structures were added and channel geometry edited to match surveyed elevations. A steady-state mixed flow analysis was performed for the 1% annual exceedance event (100-year flood). The water surface profile and flood depth map produced reveal that areas at high risk of flooding mainly lie downstream, at Lakeshore Drive. Areas of high velocity and potential scour risk were also identified at the Canal Road and Calverley Road culverts. Suggestions for mitigating the risk of flooding along Lakeshore Drive include increasing the culvert size, widening the upstream channel, removing the outlet weir, and making structural or nonstructural changes to adjacent property to reduce the impact of flooding. In addition, scour reduction may be achieved through the emplacement of inline weirs/vanes.