AUSTIN (KXAN) - Doctor Kerry Emanuel is one of the world's leading hurricane experts. And recently, he has turned his attention towards Texas.
"Texas has a very disturbing history with hurricanes," Emanuel said. "It built a lot of port cities in the early days in the 19 th century, some of them don't even exist anymore because of hurricanes."
More recently, Hurricane Ike brought 110 mile per hour winds to the Texas coast, causing billions of dollars in damages.
Doctor Emanuel is researching Texas' storied hurricane history, and looking into what the future may bring in a changing climate.
"The incidence of the very high-end hurricanes--category threes, fours, and fives--is likely to go up by some measure," Emanuel said.
Superstorm Sandy served as a reminder of the crippling winds and ocean flooding that hurricanes can bring.
But since Austin is so far inland, winds and storm surge are not major threats if a hurricane were to make landfall on the Texas coast. But hurricanes bring another significant threat that Austin is dangerously susceptible to.
"We're very much concerned about the potential for freshwater flooding events inland in Texas," Emanuel said.
Hilly topography along with numerous creekbeds and low-water crossings mean that if a hurricane were to move inland from the Texas coast, flash flooding from heavy rain would be the greatest threat.
Charles Tweve lives next to Bull Creek, an area known for its flash floods.
"We hope for the best and that it doesn't affect us," Tweve said. "We hope that the rains are not going to be too much this year."
Most homeowner's insurance does not cover flooding, but residents who live in officially-designated flood plains are eligible for low-cost federal flood insurance.
"My advice to the homeowner is—it's cheap, get it if you're in a flood plain," Emanuel said.
Kerry Emanuel is giving a talk on Texas' hurricane history and future Tuesday night at the University of Texas Student Activities Center.
The talk begins at 7 p.m., but there will also be a pre-lecture science fair with exhibits and experiments for the whole family beginning at 5:45 p.m.
Mack Brown's attorney and the university's new athletics director say the Texas coach has not resigned, denying a report that Brown was ready to step down after 16 seasons with the Longhorns.
A large majority of the crowd that poured into Austin City Hall on Tuesday night was disappointed with the Parks and Recreation Department's decision to approve a smaller off leash area at Auditorium Shores.
The top prosecutor in Travis County found herself on the witness stand Tuesday to answer questions about her professional and personal history along with her history of alcohol.
A proposal to build a highway in south Austin is getting mixed reviews from neighbors.
An Austin man has been convicted in a human smuggling case in which a teen says she was forced to wear revealing clothes and sexually assaulted while bound for New Jersey.
An historic early December cold spell is slowly waning, but temperatures will remain well below average for a couple more days.