High-resolution flood forecasting and inundation mapping is made possible by recent innovations in cloud-based flood information systems. A common operating picture assembles and integrates diverse data streams, together with hydraulic/hydrologic modeling and predictive mapping of flood inundation. Writing rules on the system helps centralize institutional knowledge about when and where flooding is expected to occur. Knowledge of the future is key to helping focus emergency response to areas where maximum flood stage is expected. In the critical period immediately after a flood, information on flooded structures and preliminary damage estimates are now possible as shown in Fig. 1. Based on inundation mapping, automated calculation of flood depths above the finished floor elevation of houses/structures preliminary damage assessment provides the basis for Federal financial assistance requests.
This presentation describes the flood warning system and common operating picture that is operational for the City of Austin Texas, Flood Early Warning System. System results from recent flood episodes will be demonstrated, thus illustrating how the system helps mitigate the challenges associated with flood emergency management when heavy rainfall intersects the urban watershed environment.