Tag Archive for: Flood Decision-Support

Flood Decision-Support Toolbox Enhanced by State, Federal Team

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and the federal Interagency Flood Risk Management (InFRM) team (composed of USGS, FEMA, the Army Corps, and National Weather Service) has enhanced their Flood Decision-Support Toolbox. The Toolbox is an interactive online application that provides maps and data that simulates the extent of flooding and shows historical flood extents. It can be used for analyzing potential scenarios, flood risk assessments, damage analysis, and more.

How It Works

Here’s how the Flood Decision-Support Toolbox works:

  1. Go to https://webapps.usgs.gov/infrm/fdst/?region=tx

2. Observe current conditions OR select historical peak floods.

Historical peak floods at US59 and the West Fork. Note the increase in recent years, likely due to upstream development and/or climate.

3. Explore the flood map library by selecting a flood level (river stage)

4. In the “Buildings” Layer, select ALL or INUNDATED BUILDINGS ONLY

5. Note the damage estimates in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

In the case of a simulated Harvey flood, near the gage at US59, 739 buildings would be inundated at an estimated total cost of $84,914,000.
But at 52.5 feet (the beginning of the “major” flood stage), 83 buildings would flood. Estimated total damage: $1,494,000.

The magic of this toolbox is that you can see exactly which buildings will flood at any given level.

What is your appetite for risk?

Potential Uses

The Flood Decision Support Toolbox also provides real-time data from USGS streamgages connected with flood inundation models to interactively display a range of flood conditions at streamgage locations. The result is a dynamic tool for flood risk assessment that enables planners, emergency responders, and the public to visually understand a flood’s extent and depth over the land surface.

TWDB worked closely with USGS to incorporate building footprints on Texas maps. The Toolbox can now display potential damage to structures within the range of the USGS gages. This will give users the ability to estimate the economic impacts of different flood events on their communities and property. The TWDB has also provided building footprints outside of the current gage ranges in preparation for future mapping updates.

That can help guide:

  • Rescue efforts
  • Evacuations and evacuation routes
  • Mitigation decisions
  • Property purchases and investment decisions
  • Risk estimates
  • New construction and development
  • Permitting decisions

The site displays flood scenarios that range from minor to major flood events. New updates let users save and share inundation maps with different data layers through a unique URL.

Collaborative Effort

“This collaborative effort,” said Jeff Walker, Executive Administrator of the TWDB. “provides Texas-specific data that will help communities understand their local flood risks and make cost-effective mitigation decisions.”

The InFRM team was formed in 2014 and launched the Flood Decision Support Toolbox in 2019.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional water and flood planning, and preparing the state water and flood plans.

Posted by Bob Rehak based on information provided by TWDB

1235 Days since Hurricane Harvey