1098 The Historical 2019 Spring Flood Season and Central Region's ROC Response

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Stephanie D. Sipprell, NWS Central Region Headquarters, Kansas City, MO; and W. L. Pearson and K. P. Allen

The Central Region Regional Operations Center (CR-ROC) began prepping for an active spring flood season in early 2019. Each year, the CR-ROC facilitates Spring Flood Outlook webinars for internal and external partners. These calls provide an opportunity for each River Forecast Center to provide a briefing on the current and expected conditions that may contribute to the spring flood season. For 2019, this provided an early opportunity to gain situational awareness on the anticipated above-normal flood season. During a normal year, there will be one webinar in February and one in March, but for 2019, additional partner briefings were held in April and May. In addition, increased utilization of the Climate Prediction Center and Weather Prediction Center Hazard Outlooks and coordination also brought the flooding potential to the forefront weeks in advance.

In early March, it became apparent that major flooding was imminent. The onset was going to be triggered by a large storm system bringing high-end blizzard conditions, heavy snow, damaging winds, and rainfall to the Front Range, as well as the central and northern Plains states and into the Upper Mississippi River Valley. This storm and the resulting flooding and evacuation of WFO Omaha/Valley, NE triggered the CR-ROC to go to level 2 operations structuring the shifts towards an Incident Command System framework. The CR-ROC also deployed to FEMA Region VII to staff the Regional Response Coordination Center.

This presentation will discuss how the CR-ROC facilitates the Spring Flood Outlook webinars and show some of its content. It will also dive into the different operational levels for the CR-ROC and how the ICS structure worked through this event. Lastly, we will touch on some of the after action report findings and best practices that were discovered through this event at a regional level.

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