Assessment of health risks associated with urban flooding in Atlanta, GA

Amy Kirby, School of Public Health, Department of Global Health

Peoplestown Revitalization Corporation, Community Collaborator

Urban flooding presents potential health risks for those in affected neighborhoods. The Peoplestown neighborhood in central Atlanta faces significant flooding challenges due to the presence of three major sewer overflow systems, low-capacity water infrastructure, runoff from three major interstates and relatively frequent high rainfall events. In collaboration with a local community organization, Peoplestown Revitalization Corporation, this pilot project aims to address the concerns community residents have expressed about the health risks associated with frequent, localized flooding. After collecting samples of drinking water and floodwater during rain events, the samples will be analyzed for microbial and chemical contaminants. In order to assess personal health risks for community members, the team will also assess knowledge and behaviors associated with urban flooding events. Through these surveys, education materials and other resources can be distributed to the community. As a true community-based participatory research project, community needs, input and capacity building are primary focal points for this pilot.

Dr. Amy Kirby is an assistant professor in the Department of Global Health at the School of Public Health at Emory. Her research focuses on using molecular microbiology tools to address questions regarding water- and foodborne diseases.

Peoplestown Revitalization Corporation works to improve the quality of life for residents of the Peoplestown community in Atlanta through promoting activities such as economic development, residential development, and other activities that work to better the community and its residents.