Real-Time Flood Warning and Flood Forecasting

Real-Time Flood Warning and Flood Forecasting

August 21, 2018

With an enhanced understanding of how serious a flood event may be, emergency managers can more adequately prepare the public for an emergency.

In this MooreWISE brief, Andy Yung explores the use of flood warning algorithms and forecast systems.

Floods are the most common and widespread natural disaster across the world (FEMA). Of the Presidential Disaster Declarations in the U.S. between 1953 and 2015, approximately half of them were a result of flooding events (riverine flooding, tropical storm surge, coastal storms, and dam/levee failure).

In the event of a flood, over half of all flood-related drowning deaths are vehicle-related (CDC). As a result, the need for flood risk reduction projects is high. However, many communities cannot afford to complete major flood control projects which typically cost hundreds of millions of dollars. As an interim or complementary component to flood control works, flood warning/forecast systems provide a tool which can assist communities in reducing loss of life and damages by providing advanced warning at a fraction of the cost of a major flood control project.