Rhode Island's STORMTOOLS

Posted on: 1/04/2019 - Updated on: 2/27/2020

Posted by

Grover Fugate


STORMTOOLS is a method to illustrate and display storm inundation, with and without sea level rise, for different types of storms that could occur along Rhode Island’s coastline. Projections are provided that show water extent and depth at any given point for nuisance floods (1, 3, 5, and 10 yr recurrence intervals) and the 25, 50, 100, and 500 year storm scenarios at the 95% confidence interval. Sea level rise of 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 feet on their own as well as combined with each storm scenario are also modeled. Flooding maps are also provided for historical hurricanes to include 1938, 1954 (Carol), 1991 (Bob), and 2012 (Sandy).

STORMTOOLS for Beginners is a one-map stop for all residents of Rhode Island to better understand their risk from coastal inundation and get answers to 3 questions:

  1. Is my property vulnerable to STORM SURGE?;
  2. How DEEP will the water be on my property during a 100-year (1% chance) coastal storm?; and
  3. Will projected SEA LEVEL RISE affect my property?

Advanced STORMTOOLS provides a series of maps that illustrate what coastal flooding could look like in the future under different storm scenarios. It enables Rhode Island’s municipal officials and decision makers to better understand their risk from coastal inundation.

STORMTOOLS includes:

  • Rhode Island e911 Exposure Assessment, which offers a summary of all exposed structures in each of the 21 coastal municipalities in Rhode Island within a variety of coastal flooding scenarios: (1) from twice-daily tidesbased on sea level rise projections to the year 2100, and (2) from coastal storm events with and without sea level rise scenarios.  The data is presented in spreadsheets on the website.
  • The Coastal Environmental Risk Index (CERI): One of the challenges facing coastal zone managers and municipal planners is the development of an objective, quantitative assessment of the risk to structures, infrastructure, and public safety that coastal communities face from storm surge in the presence of changing climatic conditions, particularly sea level rise and coastal erosion. CERI has been designed as an online Geographic Information System (GIS) based tool and is fully compatible with current flooding maps, including those from FEMA. The basic framework and associated GIS methods can be readily applied to any coastal area. The approach can be used by local and state planners to objectively evaluate different policy options for effectiveness and cost/benefit.



Planners, Building officials, coastal permitters, home owners, home buyers, builders, bankers, insurance companies, essentially anyone who is concerned with current and future risk of structures along the shore. 


Grover Fugate`

Managing Organizations

The Coastal Resources Management Council is a management agency with regulatory functions. Its primary responsibility is for the preservation, protection, development and where possible the restoration of the coastal areas of the state via the issuance of permits for work with the coastal zone of the state.