Oct 04, 2018

Flood Mapping Tools Aid Relief Efforts Post-Florence

The flood mapping tools were used by refugees and emergency response professionals alike

Mapping tool helps flood relief effort post-Florence
Mapping tool helps flood relief effort post-Florence

Following Hurricane Florence, residents and emergency response professionals seeking flood-free roadways utilized flood mapping technology to navigate the flooded areas, including the N.C. Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN), ArcMap from ArcGIS, and LiDAR data.

Refugees from flood damaged areas seeking to navigate the flooded roadways found that FIMAN often was more accurate than Google Maps, which showed flooded roads as unobstructed by stalled traffic due to a lack of cars. In contrast, FIMAN showed live rive gauge readings rated for their current flood stage in North Carolina and a composite live radar image, as reported by Engineering News-Record. The indicator can be zoomed in or out to show both North and South Carolina, as well as the heavy rain bands of the storm. Additionally, the tool is able to show modeling of inundation to be expected at that place at any given stage.

For emergency response professionals, the state of South Carolina and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) used flooding modeling tools such as ArcMap, from ArcGIS, and recent LiDAR data to develop inundation maps. USACE used the tool to identify a location along the Waccamaw River to build parallel 8,100-ft-long emergency floodwalls to keep the roadway between Conway and Myrtle Beach open for emergency response vehicles.