The magnitude, frequency and extent of the flood of October 7, 1985 at the Rio Coamo in the vicinity of the Coamo Dam and Highway 52 bridge in southern Puerto Rico, were investigated. The observed flood profiles were used to calibrate a step-backwater model. The calibrated model was then used to investigate several alternative flow conditions in the vicinity of the bridge. The peak discharge of the flood at the Highway 52 bridge was 72,000 cu ft/sec. This peak discharge was determined from the peak computed at a reach in the vicinity of the Banos de Coamo, about 1.2 mi upstream from the bridge. The computed discharge at the Banos de Coamo of 66,000 cu ft/sec was adjusted to the dam and bridge location by multiplying it by the ratio of the drainage areas raised to the 0.83 power. The flood had a recurrence interval of about 100 yr, exceeding all previously known floods at the site. The flood overtopped the spillway and levee of the Coamo Dam just upstream of Highway 52. The flow over the spillway was 54,000 cu ft/sec. Flow over the levee was about 18,000 cu ft/sec. About 10,000 cu ft/sec of the flow over the levee returned to the main channel at the base of the embankment at the northeast approach to the bridge. The remaining 8,000 cu ft/sec flowed south through the underpass on Highway 153. The embankment and shoulder on the northern span of the bridge were eroded with the eventual collapse of the approach slab.
|Title||Hydraulic analyses of water-surface profiles in the vicinity of the Coamo Dam and Highway 52 bridge, southern Puerto Rico: Flood analyses as related to the flood of October 7, 1985|
|Authors||K. G. Johnson, Ferdinand Quinones-Marquez, Ralph Gonzalez|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Water-Resources Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|