Cedar Key Flood Visualizations and Vulnerability Assessment

A free public event! On May 14, 2019, at 5:30pm in the Cedar Key Public Library, Marty Hylton, Director of the Historic Preservation Program and Envision Heritage at the University of Florida will present the results of a study to digitally document the historic district and core of the City of Cedar Key, and develop 3D visualizations of flooding and sea level rise to assess the short- and long-term vulnerability of individual buildings.

Laser scan Cedar Key

Virtual 3-D data of downtown Cedar Key from laser scanning, Envision Heritage UF.

The presentation will also highlight the engagement of Cedar Key School students, teachers, and local residents to profile the resilience of six historic buildings, also known as the Rooted in Resilience project.

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Rooted in Resilience Video Premier

Updated Video Premiere

On May 3, 2019, the Cedar Key Historical Society hosted at the Cedar Key School the Premier Video Screening of all seven of the videos produced by the Rooted In Resilience project. The videos featured historical research and interviews of Cedar Key School middle and high school students and local building owners and residents, to learn about the past impacts of storms, and how people have responded and adapted.

Principal Lawrence welcomed the attendance of about 50 people, including the participating Junior and Senior Beta Club students and their teachers and families, the owners and residents of the six buildings profiled in the videos, the Cedar Key Historical Society Executive Director and Board, Cedar Key News, and other distinguished guests, including City and Levy County School District leaders.

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Gathering in the Cedar Key School auditorium for the Rooted in Resilience Video Premier

The Cedar Key Historical Society members served a delicious homemade breakfast buffet. Then, Kathryn Frank, UF associate professor and director of the Rooted In Resilience Project, spoke briefly about the project and introduced Marty Hylton, who is Principal Investigator of the larger project – Cedar Key Flood Visualization.

The main event of the Premier Video Screening was showing the seven videos produced by the Rooted in Resilience project: first, an 8-min overall video about the project and Cedar Key’s resilience to storms based on all six buildings profiled; followed by six 3-4-min videos, one for each of the six buildings. In the spirit of community participation, Dr. Frank gave the audience comment cards, to note any last edits to make prior to finalizing the videos (the Rooted in Resilience team also previewed the videos with the students and teachers earlier in the week, with edits made at that time too).

With the lights back on, Dr. Frank and UF graduate researchers Kate Nelson and Tatum Edge recognized the participating students, teachers/group leaders, and building interviewees at the podium.

Awards

Dr. Frank recognizing the students who profiled the Cedar Key United Methodist Church.

Following the event, the Rooted in Resilience project team, including video editor Suzanne Summa, made the final edits recommended by the audience.

The final videos are available below, and they will be highlighted along with the final presentation of the larger project, Cedar Key Flood Visualization, on Tuesday, May 14, at 5:30pm, at the Cedar Key Public Library. The public is invited to this free event.

Rooted in Resilience Videos

The project team is proud to post the final videos below, which reflect the perseverance, community spirit, and ingenuity of Cedar Key and the town’s neighbors, expressed through the students’ genuine voices and the lived experiences of the building owners and residents, who care deeply about their place and its future.

Overall Video – Rooted in Resilience, Cedar Key FL

Island Hotel (1859)

Cedar Key Bed & Breakfast (1880)

Cedar Key United Methodist Church (1889)

Cedar Key Public Library (1898)

Drummond Community Bank (1912)

Cedar Key City Hall (circa 1930)

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Rooted in Resilience

Project Overview

The Rooted in Resilience project launched in March 2019 to engage select middle and high school students in Cedar Key. With the assistance of their teachers, community members, and university researchers, the students are profiling six historic buildings in Cedar Key, and they will share what they learn through several short videos and a website. These communications products will include the building owners’ responses to storms in the past, present, and future, and the students’ perspectives about their community. The information may inspire Cedar Key leaders and citizens to continue the tradition of resilience in old and new ways, as well as serve as an exemplar for other communities to follow.

The project is a partnership between the City of Cedar Key, the University of Florida, the Cedar Key Historical Society & Museum, and Cedar Key School, with funding from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. The participating students are in the Junior and Senior Beta Clubs.

Historic Buildings Profiled

The six historic buildings being profiled are the following, due to the generous time and information given by the building’s owners and residents:

Digital Flood Vulnerability Project

Rooted in Resilience is part of a one-year project, Digital Flood Vulnerability Assessment, led by Marty Hylton, Director of the UF Historic Preservation and Envision Heritage programs. The larger project is collecting 3-D digital data (via laser scanning) and updating descriptive information about buildings in Cedar Key’s historic district. The project is also engaging the public around topics of historic preservation, natural hazards, projected sea level changes, and adaptation strategies for building and community resilience.

Final Public Presentation and Student Take-Aways

The students’ videos and website will be shown at the larger project’s final public presentation in Cedar Key (Tuesday May 14 at 5:30pm, Cedar Key Library), as well as ongoing city, school, and museum promotions.

Through the project, the students are learning advanced subjects, such as historic preservation, natural hazards, and community planning, and skills, including community-based research, video and website direction, mapping technology, and teamwork. The students will be able to add the videos and website to their educational portfolios, and the voluntary project also counts as community service.

Students and Ms. Louise at Cedar Key United Methodist Church

Students profiling Drummond Community Bank

Students researching Cedar Key City Hall

Rooted in Resilience students, teachers, and UF team on field day

Cedar Key School Advisors

Kathy Lawrence, Principal

Hilary Davis

Jennie Lynn Hudson-Lane

Lisa Smith

Cedar Key Historical Society & Museum

Anna Hodges, Executive Director

UF Research Team

Kathryn Frank, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning

Tatum Edge, Master’s Student, Urban and Regional Planning

Kate Nelson, Master’s Student, Forest Resources and Conservation

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Visualizing Flooding in 3-D in Cedar Key

As part of the Think Water, Think Cedar Key events in spring 2016, a team of researchers from the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning piloted several new techniques for gathering and generating 3-D data of buildings and the terrain, and for using that data to visualize flooding scenarios in Cedar Key. The team used three different types of 3-D data techniques:

  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Laser scanning
  • Physical model

Geographic Information Systems

The GIS technique created a virtual 3-D model of all of Cedar Key using a digital elevation model (for topography), satellite imagery, and the extrusion of building footprints to create three dimensional buildings, as shown below.

3-D GIS model of downtown Cedar Key

Then, possible flooding scenarios from hurricanes and future sea level rise determined in a previous project were visualized by adding a transparent blue layer at a various elevations. The next photo shows one example, which represents a storm surge flooding scenario that could occur during a moderate hurricane.

 

3-D GIS model with storm surge scenario

 

Laser Scanning

Sujin and Marty laser scanning in Cedar Key

The laser scanning technique gathered new digital data in the field to create a high resolution 3-D virtual model of the buildings, yards, and streets along a three-block section of downtown Cedar Key.

The resulting digital model created a virtual reality accurate to a few millimeters. The researcher could virtually view the data from difference perspectives and add features, such as transparent blue flood waters.

3-D laser scan of the Island Hotel

3-D laser scan of the Island Hotel with flooding visualization

Physical Model

The last technique for visualizing flooding the team piloted was a physical model created from the laser scanning data. The laser scanning produced very accurate elevation readings, which then digitally guided a router at UF’s Fab Lab to carve a large wooden board to model the streetscape. The research team also used the laser scanning data to determine building dimensions and locations, and then made the buildings out of plexiglass and glued them to the board. The model was placed in a large tank borrowed, and fitted with a hose and stand, from the UF/IFAS Cedar Key Field Office. The team filled the tank with water to simulate the flood scenarios, from the lowest up to the highest levels ever seen (over 20 feet).

Physical model on display at Think Water, Think Cedar Key

Putting It Together

The virtual 3D GIS and laser scanning results were combined and animated in a video, which is has been on display at the Cedar Key Chamber office downtown.

Several months after creating the visualizations, physical model, and video, Hurricane Hermine struck Cedar Key, in August 2016. The pattern of storm surge during Hermine was similar to that modeled.

Downtown Cedar Key during Hurricane Hermine, photo courtesy of Sue Colson

 

UF Research Team

Marty Hylton, Director, Historic Preservation Program

Ilir Bejleri, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning

Kathryn Frank, Assistant Professor, Urban and Regional Planning

Sujin Kim, Doctoral Student, Historic Preservation

Zongni Zu, Doctoral Student, Urban and Regional Planning

Luiz Ungerecht, Doctoral Student, Urban and Regional Planning

Project Sponsors

City of Cedar Key

Florida Humanities Council

Cedar Key News

Florida Sea Grant

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Informal Practices for Hurricanes

The results of a new project will be presented to the public on May 31, 2018, at Cedar Key Hurricane Prep Day. The project website and print version are now available; and the project brief and posters from the event.

The project, Informal Practices for Hurricanes, documents the informal practices for hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery in Cedar Key FL, and to some extent the neighboring Rosewood area, in order to:

  1. Pass along knowledge to persons newly assisting with hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery in Cedar Key and Rosewood.
  2. Share with other communities the practices of small town and rural hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery.

This project is a special volunteer initiative between the University of Florida and the City of Cedar Key, with assistance from the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District, Levy County, and regional government agencies. The project originated from conversations between a Cedar Key official, graduate students in the UF Student Planning Association, and Prof. Frank during the cleanup following Hurricane Hermine in 2016.

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Think Water, Think Cedar Key

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April 2 to May 6, 2016, in Cedar Key. A month of events focused on the deep connections between Cedar Key and water, both fresh and salt. Hosted by Cedar Key News and the City of Cedar Key, with funding provided by the Florida Humanities Council.

Speaker topics include water for people, water for natural resources, water for industry, and the power of water. The capstone address by Cynthia Barnett presents Cedar Key as a model for a 21st century water ethic.

The series features a three-dimensional physical model of Cedar Key showing various flooding  scenarios, including storm surge and long-term sea level rise. The model is designed and built by faculty and students in the College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida.

For complete information, including times and locations, see the program poster below. Above photo by Steve Deam, SeeCedarKey.com

TWTCK Poster - Final

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Public Presentation in Cedar Key – Sep 24

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