WRCS, Inc.

Listing of Representative Cases as Expert Witness

Case Grouping by Areas of Expertise
Within Water Resources Engineering
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XPSWMM Model Animation of Street Flooding Scenario

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Residential and Municipal Storm Drain System Design Evaluations

Humboldt County Judge Trial Regarding a Tidally Influenced Waterway along Highway 101, Eureka, California. CalTrans maintenance practices are brought into question when cattails are allowed to grow in the channel due to environmental constraints. A HEC-RAS hydrodynamic model of the drainage system indicates that the channel capacity is almost entirely driven by tides, and that the vegetation's effect on flow conveyance is minimal.

Industrial Property Becomes a De-Facto Stormwater Detention Basin as Adjacent Properties Historically Re-Route Flows, City of Richmond, Contra Costa County, California.  A regional approach to the flooding problem is used to develop a solution in this complex litigation.

Testified in Judge Trial on the Factors Involved in Flooding That Occurred in DowntownRedding, California  The storm’s return frequency, the city storm drain system’s design level of protection, and  the impacts of watershed development were all discussed as they related to the level of flooding experienced at a downtown apartment complex.

Expert Witness On Behalf Of Plaintiffs in Class Action Law Suit regarding Two Storm Events and Citywide Flooding - Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Evaluation of city flood control standards and conformance to FEMA National Flood Insurance Program were evaluated. XPSWMM model of entire municipal storm drain system utilized to determine potential causes of flooding.

Expert Witness on Behalf of the City Defendant in Regard to the Flooding of a Beachside Condominium Complex, Long Beach, California – At issue were the storm’s return period frequency, the design capacity of the storm drain system, and the possible clogging of the drainage system’s Automatic Retractable Screen (ARS) system for the removal of trash from the curb and gutter storm drain inlets.

Historical Review of Structural Changes Done to a Storm Drain System and Their Cumulative Effects on Upstream Flooding, Oceano, San Luis Obispo County, California. Hydraulics of system was modeled, historical storm frequency analysis was conducted, and contributory effects of drainage system changes by the city, county, state, railroad and farming entities involved were estimated to assist in apportionment of costs of mitigation measures to each party

Testified on the Design and Maintenance of a City Owned Storm Drain System Being a Leading Factor in the Cause of a Landslide, Santa Rosa, California. Gaps in a storm drain system that was below the standard of care, for both engineering design and maintenance, spilled onto a steep slope over an extended time. The subsequent landslide destroyed two down slope homes and severely injured residents.

Provided Testimony in Jury Trial on Evaluation of Municipal Storm Drain System Improvements, Cumberland, Maryland. Established design factors of a storm drain system improvement project which induced greater flooding of downstream residents than would have occurred prior to its completion.

City and State Storm Drain System and Stream Channel Design, Honolulu, Hawaii.  The recurrent and increasingly frequent flooding of city streets and an industrial park built on subsiding fill material was investigated. Sources of flooding were from adjacent stream channel and the incursion of tidal waters up into the regional storm drain system.

Provided Testimony To Jury Regarding Meteorologic Evaluation of Flood Event, Novato, California. Acted as expert witness for developer faced with litigation for flooding damages occurring to condominium complex adjacent to Novato Creek in January 1980.  Evaluated meteorology and hydrology of flood and determined frequency of occurrence of event.  

Provided Mediation Testimony in Evaluation of City Storm Drain System’s Role in Repeated Flooding of Neighborhood, San Diego, California.  Conducted a presentation illustrating the hydraulic effects of a major storm drain improvement project in aggravating the flood of an adjacent neighborhood.  

Evaluation of Flood Potential along Unfinished Reach of Municipal Storm Drain System, Concord, California. Statistical analysis of flood events, historical review of floods and recommended flood control alternatives and review of the civil engineering standards of care for storm drain system design.

Deposition Testimony Provided in the Defense of Subdivision Stormwater Design, Roseville, California. A portion of the subdivision was inundated during the January 10, 1995 Roseville flood event. In defense of the designing Civil Engineer, a review of the design hydrology and hydraulics was conducted. The storm event was also characterized as being a greater than 1,000-year event for the city of Roseville, and beyond the required 100-year design level of the subdivision’s stormwater conveyance system.

Evaluation of Municipal Storm Drain System Design, Hilo, Hawaii. Engineered ditch and culvert system design was evaluated in relation to 100-year frequency historic rainfall event and adherence to City Hydrology and Drainage Standards.

State and City Storm Drain System Design Evaluation, Richmond, California. A historical review of the progressive design and construction of a storm drain system and its flooding occurrences. The designs of system components by various agencies and contracted engineering firms were evaluated for effectiveness and Standard of Care.

Review of Subdivision Drainage System Design, Paso Robles, California.  Evaluation of the design and construction of a municipal storm drain system and its adherence to the City’s Hydrology and Drainage Standards.

Provided Litigation Support to Determine The Effects Of Commercial Development on the Flooding of Upstream Properties, Tolucay Creek, City of Napa, California. Conducted review of construction plans, design hydrology and hydraulic modeling of existing vs. Pre-project conditions to determine if the project has increased the frequency and depth of flooding of adjacent properties.

Hydraulic Impact Analysis of Adjacent Projects on Flood Levels

Widespread Flooding Occurred Across Much of Brazoria County, Texas, as a Result of Hurricane Harvey. A major oil refinery’s plant expansion project, south of Houston, had eliminated much of the natural floodplain, however, and actions taken by the refinery to dam themselves off from the ensuing floodwaters during the event significantly increased the levels of flooding experienced throughout the region. Massive and highly complex 2-dimensional hydrology and hydraulics models were developed to evaluate the flood impacts of the refinery’s expansion project and floodproofing actions. Mr. Van Bruggen testified on behalf of hundreds of nearby residents in this class-action suit against the oil and chemical company.

SWPPP Review in Connection with Downstream Erosion and Siltation of a Private Lake, Union Parish, Louisiana. Mr. Van Bruggen reviewed and reported on a deficient Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) prepared by the design engineer for the new Farmerville High School construction project. The SWPPP was found to be sub-standard for regulatory requirements and highly insufficient for the purposes of stopping project silt and clay from washing offsite, where it caused extensive damage to a neighboring property and pond.

Two-Dimensional Hydraulic Modeling, Using the MIKE FLOOD Hydrodynamic Model, to Evaluate the Hydraulic Impacts of State Highway Interchange Project, Rancho Mirage, CA. Caltrans authorized a study to assess the flood risk posed by the completed project when adjacent property owners sued over concerns of increased flooding risks posed by the new interchange.

Hydrologic Analysis of the Great Missouri River Flood of 2011; Missouri River Basin, Central United States. The interrelationship between the causes of flooding on the Missouri River and the concurrent flooding that occurred on the Souris River in North Dakota were investigated. The purpose of this insurance subrogation investigation was to answer the question of whether the flood damages occurring along the Missouri River in Nebraska could be considered to have occurred from the same flood event as the flood damages that occurred along the Souris River.

Testimony in Jury Trial for Flood Damages Do to the Railroad’s Removal of Railroad Tracks, Tulare County, California. The case involved both hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and centered on how stormwater flow was diverted, and flooded a home, after a set of railroad tracks were removed.

A New City Highway Overpass Project Floods Nearby Businesses After Drainage Patterns and Conveyance Systems Are Modified, Edmond, British Columbia. A review of the project's design indicates that the downstream flow conditions were not properly taken into account in the project's design and allowance for pre-existing backwater conditions was not made.

Jury Trial Testimony Regarding Flood Damage Caused by a Utility System Repair Project, Diablo, California. An East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) pipe repair project resulted in imperceptible changes to roadway drainage patterns, causing street runoff to spill onto a residential property.  

Industrial Park Design and Construction Evaluated to Determine Possible Contributions to Neighboring Residential Subdivision’s Flooding – Reno, Nevada. Possible design defects, permitting oversights and construction variances in project drainage design were investigated in complex litigation matter.

Hydraulic Evaluation of the Effects of Construction Variances from Original Project Plans, Atlanta, Georgia. Detailed SWMM hydraulic model was developed to determine if the as-built variances in the construction of an apartment complex were a factor in the flood damages experienced at the project.

Jury Trial Testimony on the Hydrologic Impacts of a Residential Landscape Project, Danville, CA.  The combined impacts of a landscaping and construction project on a downstream neighbors drainage patterns and flooding potential were evaluated and summarized for the jury.

Conducted Hydraulic Analysis of Gas Pipeline Project Channel Crossings on Chisholm Creek, Edmund, OK. Oklahoma City underground gas pipeline project entailed multiple crossings of a 60-inch diameter gas pipeline, within the creek channel. When two residential neighborhoods were flooded by Creek overflows during a rare flood event, the additional depth of flooding caused by the pipeline’s presence in the channel was determined with a HEC-RAS hydraulic computer model of the creek channel.

Jury Trial Involved the Hydraulic Impacts of a Construction Site Temporary Channel Crossing Were Evaluated Using HEC-RAS Computer Model, Deer Creek, St Louis, Missouri.  Effects upon upstream flooding of residential subdivision quantified and height of the temporary crossing, as it previously existed, was forensically reproduced by hydraulic model.

Hydraulic Impact Analysis of Bridges on Riverine Flood Levels

Provided Deposition Testimony in Two Cases (one Class-Action) Involving Flooding on the River Des Peres, St. Louis County, Missouri. The hydraulic impacts of the accumulation of channel vegetation, and the presence of numerous bridge crossings, was determined by HEC-RAS and XPSWMM computer modeling of the University City Branch of the River des Peres storm drain system (a tributary to the Mississippi River) during the September 2008 flood.

Expert Witness for Plaintiffs in Class-Action Lawsuit, Performing both Hydrologic and Hydraulic Model Forensic Re-Creations of a Historic Flood on Keith Creek, Rockford, Illinois. The storm event and flood hydrograph were modeled from rain gage and watershed analyses using the Corps of Engineers HEC-HMS model. The resulting flood elevation profiles and flood mapping were developed using an urban Digital Elevation Model (DEM) within a Corps HEC-RAS model. The impacts of 22 city bridges were evaluated to determine their hydraulic impact on the depth and spread of the floodwaters throughout the city.

New Year’s flood of 2005, Ross Valley, San Anselmo Creek, Marin County, California. The hydraulic impacts of 17 bridges and channel infringements along San Anselmo and Ross Creeks was determined using HEC-RAS. The individual and cumulative effects of the structures were quantified for the clients in this class action law suit.

Property Owner on Downstream Side of a Roadway Bridge and Culvert Sued the City for Causing Bank Erosion on His Property Due to a Seismic Retrofit of the Bridge, Larkspur Creek in Marin County, California. A HEC-RAS computer model of the channel reach indicated that the bridge could not have impacted the downstream reach, as the flow conditions were in the super-critical flow regime (hydraulically impossible).

Provided Testimony to Jury Regarding Train Trestle’s Effect on Winery Flooding, Napa, California. Developed a HEC-RAS computer model of a series of highway bridges and train trestle to determine their impacts on the debris blockage of a creek and the resulting contribution to flood damages.

Evaluation of Potential Impacts of State Highway Structures on Residential Flooding, San Francisquito Creek, California. Performed extension of FEMA floodplain models, and statistical review of historic storm precipitation and creek flow data to determine the hydraulic effect of highway superstructure and sound walls on the extent and duration of flooding experienced in San Mateo and Santa Clara county neighborhoods in February 1998.

Expert Witness in Flooding Damages and Inverse Condemnation Case, City of Hayward, Alameda County, California. Developed a HEC-RAS hydraulic backwater model of County channel system, City roadway crossings and adjacent State highway sound walls to determine the hydraulic factors contributing to a levee overtopping.

Dam and Reservoir Operations - Downstream Flooding

Bench Trial on the Oroville Dam Spillway Failure and Downstream Flooding of the Feather and Sacramento Rivers, Sacramento Valley, California. In February of 2017, after a winter season of record setting rainfall in the Sacramento and Feather River basins, Oroville Dam’s main spillway began to crumble while conveying the high outflows from the reservoir. After spillway flows were shut off, and the reservoir was allowed to fill to its crest, the dam’s emergency spillway was engaged, and it failed as well. This triggered the evacuation of the City of Oroville and 188,000 downstream residents. That spring, while the dams’ spillways were being repaired, unusually high outflows from the dam were required to keep the reservoir levels low. These months of high outflows had a disastrous effect on thousands of acres of downstream orchards and farmland. Mr. Van Bruggen conducted a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the outflows from the dam that spring, and then compared them to his simulated, numerically modeled, record of what the flows would have been, had it not been for the spillway failures.

Flood Operations of Two Army Corps of Engineers Reservoirs During Hurricane Harvey Evaluated for Downstream Impacts in Two Cases, Beaumont, Texas. Gate operations and inflow-outflow hydrographs were analyzed at Sam Rayburn and Town Bluff Reservoirs. Dam releases were hydrologically tracked 100-miles downstream, and over four days travel time, to Beaumont. Flood impacts on residential neighborhoods and Neches Port terminals were evaluated by flood hydrograph separation of the hurricane’s total flood flows coming off of numerous tributaries and watershed areas along the lower Neches River.

Forensic Re-creation of Reservoir Operations Undertaken by the State of Queensland during historic flood event, Brisbane, Australia. A back-to-back series of tropical cyclones in January 2011 results in a number of Queensland cities, including Brisbane, going under water, creating the Australian equivalent of the U.S.'s Hurricane Katrina. The flood control operation of two reservoir projects is blamed, and becomes the subject of a number of class-action suits, claiming billions of dollars in damages. Mr. Van Bruggen developed a detailed hydrologic model of alternative reservoir operation scenarios to determine if the dam operator's non-compliance with the dam operations manuals was a factor. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of thousands of Queenslanders who lost their homes and businesses in the floods, ruling that a "reasonably competent" engineer would have taken more action to mitigate the flood damage with earlier dam releases.

Testified on the Reservoir Spillway Operations of an Electric Utility Causing An Increase In Flooding Downstream, Grand Prairie Texas. Detailed hydrologic and hydraulic models were constructed to forensically re-create the spillway operations surrounding a flood event and to show how alternative spillway operation procedures could have reduced downstream flood levels and damages.

Testified in Class Action Jury Case Regarding the Hydraulic Impacts of the Presence, and Operation, of a Series of Three Water Supply Reservoirs, Hackensack River, West Nyack, New York. Excel spreadsheet analysis conducted to forensic ally re-create the reservoir inflow and outflow hydrographs. HEC-RAS computer model used to evaluate impacts and alternatives.

Forensic Reenactment of Dam Failure Scenarios, Kauai, Hawaii. Developed a model to recreate the watershed and channel system inflows and outflows from a privately owned reservoir during a historically wet month, prior to the failure of the dam that killed seven people.  The modeling of different scenarios was conducted so as to determine if the reservoir overtopping was the result of the removal of the dam’s emergency spillway.

Provided Expert Testimony To Jury on the Professional Standards for Reservoir Release Decisions and Their Effects on Downstream Flooding, Cowlitz River, Washington.  Developed a model to historically recreate the municipally owned reservoir system operations and river system flows during a historic flood event.  The modeling of different scenarios indicated that the reservoir releases were excessive and contributory to downstream flooding. 

Evaluation of Dam Overtopping and Embankment Failure, Dutch Fork Dam, Western Pennsylvania.  Previous spillway design failures and rehabilitation projects evaluated as possible contributors to ultimate dam failure, which flooded out two downstream West Virginia communities.

Review of Municipal Irrigation District Reservoir Operations and Their Impacts on Downstream Levee Failures, San Joaquin Valley, California. Conducted investigations related to the hydraulics of the rivers, channels and levees of the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers, downstream of the New Don Pedro Reservoir. Levee capacities and design levels of protection through the subject river reaches were determined, as well as the forensics related to the storm and flood frequencies associated with the flooding of December 1996 to January 1997.

Provided Testimony to Jury Regarding Flood Releases from Hydroelectric Dams by State Power Authority, Santee-Cooper River system, South Carolina. Acted as rebuttal witness, testifying on behalf of numerous landowner plaintiffs who were being regularly flooded by the operations of a hydroelectric power plant operated by the South Carolina Public Service Authority, a.k.a., Santee-Cooper Electric. Critically evaluated a Corps of Engineers UNET computer model prepared by the defendants.

Provided Litigation Support to Determine the Effects of Reservoir Releases on Downstream Flooding During Hurricane Event, Escatawpa River, Mississippi.  Created a model to determine that portion of flood damages attributable to the opening of spillway gates at a municipally owned reservoir in advance of the landfall of Hurricane Georges in Jackson County, Mississippi in September 1998.  

Road and Highway Drainage Design and Maintenance

Expert Testimony Provided in Jury Trial on Whether Highway Drainage Conditions May Have Led to Fatal Auto Accident, Stockton, California. Highway drainage plans and high resolution laser survey of highway road surface were analyzed in connection with storm event rainfall data, indicating that the roadway had no anomalies or sheet flow conditions that could have created a potential for hydroplaning of the vehicle. No Dangerous Condition of the state highway was found to exist, 12-0, by the jury in the case.  

3-D Animation of Roadway Drainage Patterns Presented to Jury as Part of Testimony on the Cause of a Fatal Mudslide, Mill Valley, California. The hydrology and hydraulics of how a section of roadway drained throughout a winter season were modeled, and the results graphically illustrated in 3-Dimensional space, as part of a PowerPoint presentation on the contributing factors leading to the mudslide.

Santa Cruz County Court Trial Testimony Given regarding Claim of Unsafe Condition of State Highway in Wet Weather Conditions, Santa Cruz County, CA. Storm event meteorology, storm drainage patterns, highway project plans and CalTrans drainage design criteria were evaluated for hydroplane potential at the site of a head-on crash.

Interstate Roadway Surface Analyzed to Identify Possible Anomalies That Might Create Hydroplane Conditions, Los Angeles, California.  Detailed laser survey of highway surface utilized to develop model of drainage patterns of sheet flows across freeway lanes.

Highway Culvert System Design Review, Oahu, Hawaii. Meteorologic evaluation of storm event, and hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of state highway drainage system, cited as cause of hydroplane accident.

Evaluation of Interstate Highway Stream Crossing and Debris Control Structure for Role in Fatal Overturn Accident, Vancouver, Washington. Design, Maintenance and Operation of debris rack structure reviewed, as per state DOT and FHWA design standards, .to establish cause of hydraulic piping of water along the culvert, resulting in flooding of the highway.

Forensic Investigation into the Source of Water in City/County Right-Of-Way, Claimed to Be a Factor in a Fatal CHP Motorcycle Accident, Riverside, California. History of various roadway design changes, and their effects on the hydraulics of curb and gutter system drainage system was developed.

Provided Testimony in Judge Trial Regarding CalTrans Culvert Design, Malibu California. Case involved the placement, design and maintenance of a culvert under Pacific Coast Highway and the issues of CalTrans’ adherence to their own engineering standards and the resultant erosion damages to the ocean bluff, downstream.

Provided Expert Testimony To Jury In Connection With State Highway System Design, Alameda County, California. Acted as expert witness for the State of California regarding a motorcycle accident and wrongful death suit on a Northern California highway. Testimony involved the need, purpose and appropriateness of certain design aspects of highway median drainage features.

Provided Expert Testimony To Judge In Defense of State Highway System Design, Salinas River, Monterey County, California. Acted as expert witness in inverse condemnation trial regarding the flooding of agricultural lands adjacent to state highway embankment during the January 1995 Salinas River floods. Storm and flood event frequency was established and highway design was evaluated for adequacy in providing drainage relief.

Provided Expert Testimony To Jury In Connection With State Highway System Design, Orange County, California. Acted as expert witness for accident victims involved in hydroplane accident on southern California highway. Testimony involved the standard of care employed in the design of highway drainage features.

Judge Trial Expert Testimony Regarding State Highway Drainage Design Investigation in Conjunction with Wrongful Death Suit, Hilo, Hawaii. Evaluated as-built design and construction of a section of highway where sheet flows and hydroplane conditions led to a fatal car accident.

Testified in Eminent Domain Jury Trial over Farmland Condemnation for State Highway Project, Monterey County, California – At issue was the alleged diminution in value of farmland due to drainage deficiencies in the project’s design and non-mitigated drainage impacts.

Expert Witness in Wrongful Death Suit Regarding Collapse of State Highway into River, Cuyama River, Santa Barbara County, California.  Determined that state highway contract called for smaller class riprap bank protection than was specified in the original plans and by state standards.  

Channel and Levee Overflows/Breaches – Design and Maintenance

Debris Basin Overtopping Investigation and Debris Flow Hydraulic Analysis; Loma Linda, CA. A Southern California storm event resulted in the overtopping of a City debris basin and a disastrous mud flow down city streets. The design of the debris basin, return frequency of the storm event, and hydraulics of the resulting mud flow were investigated. A 2-dimensional hydraulic flow model was developed to determine the impact of a new City bridge on resulting mud flow depths.

Bench Trial Testimony on Hydraulic Impact of Diversion Dam in Overtopping of Upstream Channel Levees, Monterey County, CA. Hydrologic analysis of historical flood hydrograph and dynamic hydraulic modeling of channel system undertaken to produce modeled video animation exhibit illustrating flood profile inconsistencies with recorded high water marks in channel.

Trial Testimony Provided for Plaintiffs in Class Action Court Trial, Brookings, South Dakota. Mobile Home Park was flooded by nearby creek after decades of vegetative growth and sediment buildup reduced the channel’s flow capacity. The city had received a number of complaints and maintenance request from residents over the years, and even studied the problem, but never provided any creek maintenance. HEC-RAS hydraulic model of the creek was developed to quantify the flow restrictions caused by the vegetation and silt accumulations. The additional depth of flooding in the Mobile Home Park, attributable to these factors, was quantified for damage calculations.

Provided Deposition Testimony in Two Cases Involving the Distinction between Agricultural Irrigation Supply and Return Water Drainage Conveyance Systems, and Stormwater Runoff Drainage Conveyance Systems, Imperial County, CA. The cases involved the determination of whether the State (Caltrans) and/or the (Imperial) Irrigation District bore the responsibility to carry, and manage, floodwaters emanating from desert washes or agricultural fields. These legal determinations could drastically impact the design carrying capacity of irrigation system canals, ditches and culverts, as well as the design level of protection for flood control channels and culverts.

Hydraulic Evaluation of Irrigation Canal Breach and Subsequent Flooding Of Numerous Residential Subdivisions - Fernley, Nevada. Evaluation of hydraulic impacts of removal of drainage canals from subdivision by property owners using HEC-RAS channel breach analysis and flood wave propagation model.

Judge Trial Testimony against County Flood Control District for Lapse of Duty, Solano County, California.  The continued, deliberate non-inclusion of specific reaches of Sweeney Creek, in rural Solano County, was at issue when the lack of channel maintenance and sediment removal led to the flooding of numerous homes, on several occasions.

Expert Testimony at Judge Trial in Regard to City’s Rights to Drainage Easement, Atascadero, California. The City’s right to remove residential fences constructed across a drainage channel and easement was argued. The case resulted in the resident being required to remove the fences and the city’s ability to enforce keeping the easement clear of any obstructions.

Provided Litigation Support in the Defense of Mining Operation, Wynoochee River, Washington.  Prepared a HEC-RAS hydraulic model of the Wynoochee River showing that the gravel mining operation had no net hydraulic effect contributing to the breakout of a channel levee and the subsequent flooding of several properties.

Provided Expert Testimony in Judge Trial in Defense of Reclamation District’s Flood Control Operations, R.D. 1000, San Joaquin River, San Joaquin County, California. Case involved the operation and maintenance of levees, sloughs and pump systems within the Reclamation District.  Suit was filed by agricultural landowners in response to the flooding of their lands during the Sacramento Valley floods of January 1995 and January 1997.

Provided Deposition Testimony On the Forensics of Sacramento Valley Levee System Failure, R.D. 2107, San Joaquin County, California. Acted as hydraulic and hydrologic engineering expert for Reclamation District responsible for the operation and maintenance of a series of state levees that failed in January of 1997. Historic San Joaquin and Stanislaus River flows were characterized to determine flood flow frequencies and a detailed UNET hydraulic model of the river system was analyzed for the flood event.

Judge Trial Testimony on the Source of Flood Waters Occurring at Residential Complex, Santa Rosa, CA. The source and causes of flooding at an apartment complex was determined, by the use of hydraulic modeling, as being the result of the improper design and maintenance of drainage features on an adjacent CalTrans easement property.

State Levee Project Hydraulic Evaluation, Bethel Island, San Joaquin Valley, California. The hydraulic effects of a state levee rehabilitation and environmental mitigation project, managed by a municipal irrigation district, were determined.

Deposition Testimony Provided In Determination Of Causes of Flooding Of Mobile Home Park, City of Hayward, Alameda County, California. Conducted engineering analysis of hydrology, hydraulics and meteorology leading to the levee overtopping and flooding of the Spanish Ranch Mobile Home Park during January 9-10, 1995 Northern California flood event. Acted as expert witness regarding the design vs. existing capacity of the local flood control districts channel and levee system and the relative frequency of the causative storm and flood event.

Provided Litigation Support in Determining Causes of Flooding, Newark, California. A number of parcels of agricultural lands surrounded by tidal levees were being increasingly flooded over the years. A meteorologic and hydrologic investigation toward the development of a historical water balance for the property was conducted to determine the possible causes. Levee overflows and seepage, rising groundwater levels, historical rainfall records and diverted runoff patterns were all addressed.

Hydraulic Evaluations – River, Pipeline, Estuary, Alluvial Fan, Floodplain

Hydrologic (HEC-HMS) and Hydraulic (HEC_RAS) Modeling of Alluvial Fan and Wash on Historic Route 66, San Bernardino County, California. A greater than 100-year flash flood event in the Mojave Desert washed out a bridge over a desert wash in the middle of the night. A vehicle travelling on old Route 66 later went over the washed out bridge, causing major injuries to the passengers. Mr. Van Bruggen modeled the flash flood hydrology, based on radar rainfall for the event and created a hydraulic model of the wash and bridge to determine the flood frequency and bridge flow capacity.

Marin County Judge Trial re. Damages Due to Streambank Erosion and Collapse, Fairfax, California. Bank failure requiring extensive riprap bank repair project was being blamed on a decades-old upstream residential retaining wall on the opposite channel bank. HEC-RAS model of San Anselmo Creek was developed to analyze the hydraulic flow patterns around the retaining wall and resulting flow velocity distributions downstream. The hydraulic impacts of the retaining wall were determined to have no impact on the eroding bank, downstream, which was shown to be eroding due to other natural hydraulic processes. Client: Low, Ball & Lynch, San Francisco, California.

Country Club Golf Courses and Residential Neighborhoods Hit by Monsoonal Flash Flood and Debris Flows, Indian Wells, California. A 250-year frequency monsoonal flash flood caused extensive damage to developments on the alluvial plain below steep desert canyons. The residential storm drain system was evaluated, and alternative mitigation plans were developed, involving various systems of interconnected detention basins. Client: Wilson Elser, et al, Los Angeles, California.

Alluvial Fan Migration Due to Berm Construction, Thousand Palms, California. A desert residential property was washed out by a monsoonal flash flood in an area that was not known for previously known for flooding. The long-term hydraulic impacts on streamflow caused by the placement of a sand and dirt berm adjacent on an upstream desert wash channel was evaluated through comparison of flood tracks on historical aerial photos. Client: Law Offices of Aaron Garcia, Rancho Mirage, California.

Affidavit and Federal Report Prepared from Hydrographic Analysis of Lake Brazos, on the Brazos River, Waco, Texas. Statistical analysis of Brazos River historical flow records, dating back to 1885, and hydraulic analysis of corresponding Lake Brazos water surface profiles (lake levels), was conducted to determine if that reach of River is classified as a Navigable Water of the United States for regulatory purposes, and is subject to Section 10 of the U. S. Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.

Hydraulic Evaluation of Wind Waves and Tidal Currents Affecting Oil Spill, Patuxent River, Maryland. Analysis determining the maximum possible wave heights and total current velocities that could have occurred surrounding an oil spill into Swanson’s Creek, near the confluence with the Patuxent River channel outlet, Maryland, on April 7th, 2000.

Provided Expert Testimony on the Cause of Failure of Water Supply Pipeline, Stockton East Water District, California.  Developed a hydrologic inflow model to recreate a historic flood event and a hydraulic pipeline model to evaluate whether the inflows from this event could have produced a surge in the pipeline, causing the failure of a section of the pipeline by a water hammer effect.  

Hydrologic and Hydraulic Study of Alluvial Fan Flood Zone, Kern County, California. The drainage characteristics and hydrographic statistics of an alluvial wash, demonstrating considerable historic flash flooding, channel avulsion and braiding, were evaluated in an effort to quantify the potential effects of upstream channel changes on downstream debris deposition and flooding.

Flash Flood and Debris Flow From Burnt Watershed Analyzed, Highland, California. The watershed, on a mountain tributary to the Santa Ana River, burnt the previous year in a southern California forest fire. The flash flood carried half again its normal flood volume in debris, washing over a highway bridge and carrying away a woman.

Expert Witness for Liability of City in Flood Damage Litigation, Broadus Creek, City of Willits, Mendocino County, California. Constructed and presented results of floodplain hydraulic model to determine the effects of the city's dumping of fill materials onto a floodplain and the resultant diversion of flood flows through client’s property.

Drowning Hydraulics - River and Channel Structures

Federal Report Submitted Regarding the Degree of Exposure of an Obstruction in the Tidally Influenced Waterway, Lathrop, California. A fatal accident occurred when a motorboat hit an exposed section of cofferdam around the pier of a railroad bridge over the San Joaquin River. The historical determination of the river’s tidal cycle phase and flow rate at the time and location of the accident was required to establish the river’s water level and the of degree of exposure of the obstacle. Client: Murphy Campbell, et al, Sacramento, California.

Twelve-Year-Old Boy Drowns When He is Sucked into a Water Delivery Gate in a Water District's Ditch, Butte County, California. The hydraulics of the water in the district’s earthen channel, and of the zone of accelerated inflow to the delivery gate and culvert, were explained and illustrated for the jury to demonstrate the hidden, and potentially lethal, danger posed by the water supply system turnout and gate structure.

Evaluation of Drowning Hydraulics and Irrigation/Diversion Canal Public Safety Issues, Mesquite, Nevada. An accidental drowning at a diversion dam and its irrigation/diversion canal works prompted a safety evaluation of public access points, and a hydraulic evaluation of the design and concurrent flow conditions at an irrigation water supply diversion dam and canal system. Provided an Expert’s Rebuttal Report to client, allowing for the granting of a Motion for Summary Judgment by the defendant.

Hydraulic Modeling of Canal and Culvert Crossing in Connection with Triple Drowning, Bay City, Florida. A power plant cooling water discharge channel was analyzed and, a flow velocity distribution was developed, to indicate whether the roadway crossing posed a dangerous condition to swimmers. A HEC-RAS computer model was used for the analysis and deposition testimony was provided, resulting in the settlement of the case.

Drowning of Father While Attempting to Save Daughter in the Russian River, Monte Rio Beach, Sonoma County, California. A HEC-RAS hydraulic model of the reach of river was developed to identify the effects of upstream bridge piers and tributary creek inflows on the seasonal sediment storage patterns, forming “holes” and “mounds” in the river bed and, subsequently, identify flow anomalies in that river reach.

Re-creation of River Rapids Hydraulic Conditions Surrounding the Drowning of a Juvenile, Western Pennsylvania. Velocity profiles of the river were mapped using numerical modeling and the HEC-RAS computer program.

Testimony Provided in Case of Drowning of Child in Irrigation Canal, Merced, California. Deposition testimony provided in regard to public access and public safety design issues, project signage issues and channel hydraulic factors, surrounding the drowning death of a toddler who fell into an irrigation district canal and was sucked into an inverted siphon structure located in an urban setting.

Investigation of Irrigation Channel Design in Regard to Drowning of a School Age Child, Fresno, California. The as-built construction status of a major irrigation channel and roadway bridge was found to contradict the intended design plans as they pertained to certain key public safety design features, allowing for easy access by the victim.

Dam Hydraulics and Poor Signage Cited for Drowning, Lynchburg Dam, Lynchburg, Virginia. Testimony on the standard of care in regard to proper signage near run-of-river dam spillways and the hydraulic effect below such spillways, also referred to as “drowning machines,” was offered in a case involving the drowning of a teenage girl at the James River dam site.

Two-Dimensional Modeling of Hydraulic Conditions Surrounding a Double Drowning, West Virginia. The boys dove from a barge anchored on the Ohio River. Investigation involved the forensic re-creation of river currents around, and under, a set of barges, and was modeled and graphically illustrated.

Design Evaluation of Irrigation Canal Where Drowning Occurred, Merced, California.  The safety standards employed in the design of Irrigation District canal siphons under roadways was considered, as well as the hydraulics of flow for such structures, as factors in the drowning of a toddler.

Provided Deposition Testimony Regarding Role of Hydraulic Structure Design in Drowning, Big Pine, California. The engineering and hydraulic properties of a radial gate design were investigated as a likely cause for the drowning death of a man in the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Alternative gate designs having safer hydraulic properties and posing less risk to nearby swimmers were recommended.

Hydraulic Evaluation Of COE River Structure Linked To Drowning, Picayune, Mississippi. Evaluated the design, and subsequent re-design, of a US Army Corps of Engineers diversion structure on the Pearl River, between Mississippi and Louisiana, and it's role in creating dangerous hydraulic conditions leading to the overturning of a canoe and the occupant's drowning.

Expert Witness In Drowning Case for the Hydraulic Review of Weir Structure Safety, Little Truckee River, Sierra County, California. Reviewed streamflow data and design and operation of weir structure owned and operated by the USGS and Bureau of Reclamation. The structure was investigated for determination of hydraulic design characteristics and range of safe flow releases from upstream dam and reservoir (Stampede Dam).