5.2 Using Optical Remote Sensing and Synthetic Aperture Radar for Near-Real-Time Response to the Central U.S. Flooding in April–May 2017

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Room 18B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Jordan R. Bell, Univ. of Alabama—Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and L. A. Schultz, M. Jones, A. L. Molthan, S. A. Arko, K. A. Hogenson, and F. J. Meyer

In late April and early May 2017, heavy rainfall across southeastern Missouri led to extensive flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi River basins in the central United States. Determining the extent of flooding is critical for response organizations to properly deploy personnel and other assets involved in preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts for any group performing decision support. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relies on geospatial flood extent data to estimate impacts on population and infrastructure in order to prepare and engage in response activities in affected states. To assist FEMA in mapping flood extent in near real-time, the NASA Earth Science Disasters Program coordinated a multi-center response focused on providing supplemental satellite imagery and products to FEMA during major flood events to aid in their analysis tools and capabilities. Scientists at NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center at Marshall Space Flight Center, who led the multi-center response, have been working with the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) to provide and transition synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery and derived flood maps to FEMA. This presentation will describe the various products available during the response activity, and post-event collaborations to examine products in comparison to additional data and modeling collected by FEMA, training needs to improve product use, and more efficient methods for data delivery. Lessons learned will highlight opportunities for improvement with future work and improvement, and guide other ongoing efforts to develop collaborations that would also support other domestic emergency response activities. Such agencies include the National Weather Service, National Guard Bureau, and additional Department of Homeland Security members.
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