The aim of this paper was to investigate the ability of some 2D and 3D numerical models to simulate flood waves in the presence of an isolated building or building array in an inundated area. Firstly, the proposed 2D numerical model was based on the finite-volume method (FVM) to solve 2D shallow-water equations (2D-SWEs) on structured mesh. The flux-difference splitting method (FDS) was utilized to obtain an exact mass balance while the Roe scheme was invoked to approximate Riemann problems. Secondly, the 3D commercially available CFD software package was selected, which contained a Flow 3D model with two turbulent models: Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANs) with a renormalized group (RNG) and a large-eddy simulation (LES). The numerical results of an impact force on an obstruction due to a dam-break flow showed that a 3D solution was much better than a 2D one. By comparing the 3D numerical force results of an impact force acting on building arrays with the existence experimental data, the influence of velocity-induced force on a dynamic force was quantified by a function of the Froude number and the water depth of the incident wave. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of the initial water stage and dam-break width on the 3D-computed results of the peak value of force intensity.
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