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Clarksville inundation maps

IFC Releases New Flood Inundation Maps

The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) is an evolving web tool that is continually expanding the scope of its features. IFIS now offers Iowans access to flood inundation maps for 24 Iowa communities, up from 10 communities in 2013.

Flood inundation maps are particularly useful during flood events to help people visualize the potential extent of flooding at a range of river levels. This information can help individuals and communities plan and make sound mitigation decisions, and allows homeowners, business owners, and others to see how predicted flood levels might affect their property. Please Note: These are NOT regulatory floodplain maps that can affect insurance. Rather, they offer information people need to plan for and be ready for future flood events.

IFIS includes a full set of flood inundation maps for the following communities:

  • Ames
  • Cedar Falls
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Charles City
  • Clarksville
  • Columbus Junction
  • Des Moines
  • Elkader
  • Fort Dodge
  • Hills
  • Humboldt
  • Independence
  • Iowa City
  • Kalona
  • Maquoketa
  • Mason City
  • Monticello
  • Ottumwa
  • Red Oak
  • Rock Rapids
  • Rock Valley
  • Spencer
  • Waterloo
  • Waverly

How to Access Flood Inundation Maps on IFIS

From the IFIS homepage, select the button for “inundation maps.” Users can then select one of the highlighted communities listed above and use the flood map controller slider bar on the right to see the potential extent of flooding at any selected stage or discharge. IFIS uses a Google Maps interface, so users can zoom in and out, switch to different views (satellite and street view), and navigate around the map.

HAZUS

Also new on IFIS is the web tool Hazus, which allows users to estimate the cost of flood damages to buildings and other structures in various flooding scenarios. Hazus data is currently available for 12 Iowa communities, and IFC researchers are working to expand the tool to cover the entire state. Currently, IFIS provides flood loss and damage estimation for Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Iowa City, Independence, Kalona, Rock Rapids, and Rock Valley.

Hazus, developed and distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is a multi- natural hazard analysis tool. The web tool models the effects that natural hazards of various intensities can have on buildings and other structures in a given area, and then quantifies the total damage in dollars.

How to operate Hazus

Users can view flood damage for one of these communities by clicking on the “Damage Estimate” button and sliding the “Flood Map Controller” to model different scenarios.

For example, users can select Iowa City, simulate a 30-foot stage flood, and receive a total damage estimate of $19 million, which factors in the number of buildings damaged and the cost of the damage to their structure and content. Users can also click on individual buildings in the flooded area to access estimates of content and structural damage to those buildings. IFC researchers plan to add additional analysis layers that will include the number of schools, critical structures, and emergency centers affected in the damage estimate. The research team will add the additional layers after bringing the current level of analysis to all Iowa communities.

Iowa Flood Center’s system update gives users estimated flood damage costs

http://cbs2iowa.com/news/local/iowa-flood-center-newest-system-update-gives-users-estimated-flood-damage-costsCBS2,Published on: April 30th, 2018
Screenshot of Hazus on IFIS.

Modeling the Costs of Flood Damage

In May 2017, the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) added data to the web from HAZUS, which allows users to estimate the cost of flood damages to buildings and other structures in various flooding scenarios. HAZUS data is currently available for seven Iowa communities, and Iowa Flood Center (IFC) researchers are working to expand the tool to cover the entire state.

HAZUS, developed and distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is a multi- natural hazard analysis tool. FEMA first released HAZUS in 1997, and its most recent version, HAZUS 4.0, is capable of analyzing floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. The web tool models the effects that natural hazards of various intensities can have on buildings and other structures in a given area, and then quantifies the total damage in dollars.

In 2017, IIHR Research Engineer and Assistant Professor Ibrahim Demir and graduate research assistant Enes Yildirim integrated HAZUS datasets into IFIS. Yildirim extracted the flood related datasets from HAZUS, including census data on demographics, buildings, structural content, and the number of schools and critical structures near rivers, and integrated it into existing IFIS flood maps. Yildirim also analyzed how emergency responders could use HAZUS and created a user-friendly web-design that would be intuitive and easy for decision-makers and the public to use.

How does HAZUS work on IFIS?

Currently, IFIS provides flood loss and damage estimation for 12 communities: Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls,  Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Independence, Kalona, Monticello, Ottumwa, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and Waterloo. To calculate flood damage for one of these communities, users can hover their cursor over the “Flood Maps” tab and find their community under the “Flood Map Scenarios for Communities” button. Then, after clicking on the “Damage Estimate” button, users can toggle the “Flood Map Controller” to model different scenarios.

For example, users can select Iowa City, simulate a 30-foot stage flood, and receive a total damage estimate of $19 million, which factors in the number of buildings damaged and the cost of the damage to their structure and content. Users can also click on individual buildings in the flooded area to access estimates of content and structural damage to those buildings. Demir says that level of detail will be useful for decision-makers and ordinary citizens who need to evaluate scenarios specific to them. Demir and Yildirim plan to add additional analysis layers that will include the number of schools, critical structures, and emergency centers affected in the damage estimate. Demir and his team will add the additional layers after bringing the current level of analysis to all Iowa communities.

Be Ready for Spring Floods

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) offers a suite of online tools, the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), that allows all Iowans to access the latest community-based flood information. IFIS is a user-friendly online application based on a Google Maps interface. To launch IFIS, visit http://ifis.iowafloodcenter.org.

New for 2017, IFIS offers a more responsive design. New features include a community flood map widget that allows website owners to add a customizable IFIS widget to their site. IFIS users can also download the IFIS app to their smartphone or tablet for fast, convenient, real-time data (view download instructions here). In addition, IFIS users can sign up to receive a text with current flood conditions from a specific stream-stage sensor close to their home or business.

IFIS displays up-to-the-minute community-specific information on rainfall, stream levels, and more, including:

  • Current flood warnings and stream forecasts
  • Real-time rainfall maps displaying current conditions and past rainfall accumulations
  • Real-time and historical data on stream levels
  • 2D and 3D interactive visualizations

IFIS also provides flood inundation maps for 22 flood-prone communities across Iowa. These maps allow users to see what a forecasted flood crest would mean for their home or business. Maps are available for Ames, Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Columbus Junction, Des Moines, Elkader, Hills, Humboldt, Independence, Iowa City, Kalona, Maquoketa, Mason City, Monticello, Ottumwa, Red Oak, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, Spencer, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Waverly. IFC researchers continue to develop flood inundation maps for more Iowa communities every year, including at least four new maps this year for Clarksville, Ida Grove, and Fort Dodge.

IFIS helps Iowans make better-informed decisions on flood planning and mitigation efforts and alerts communities in advance to help them prepare for and minimize potential flood damage. Watershed management authority groups across the state can also use IFIS to assist with conservation planning to improve soil and reduce flood risk and to protect people and infrastructure.

The Iowa Legislature established the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa in 2009 to provide accurate, science-based information to help Iowans better understand their flood risks. It is the nation’s first academic center devoted solely to the study of floods. For more information, visit www.iowafloodcenter.org.

 

Website offers instant flood information for entire state

http://www.radioiowa.com/2016/04/04/website-offers-instant-flood-information-for-entire-state/Radio Iowa,Published on: April 4th, 2016

New Online Tool Shows Real-Time Flood Data For 3 Area Cities & 16 Others

http://kiwaradio.com/local-news/new-online-tool-shows-real-time-flood-data-for-3-area-cities-16-others/KIWA Radio,Published on: April 4th, 2016

Iowa Flood Information System offers Real-time Flood Information—Perfect for a Rainy June!

During this wet and rainy June, we invite you to check out the latest conditions in your part of the state by visiting the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS). Individuals can access IFIS by visiting http://ifis.iowafloodcenter.org.

Capture

(IFIS) is an online tool developed by the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa. IFIS provides a user-friendly, interactive web application that allows all Iowans access to community-based flood information, including current stream and river level data from more than 200 IFC stream-stage sensors across the state.

IFIS provides more than 1,000 communities with information regarding flood conditions, forecasts, warnings, visualizations, and other flood-related data. The application is based on an easy-to-use Google Maps interface that displays up-to-the-minute community specific information on rainfall, stream levels, and more, including:

  • Flooding scenarios with contributions from multiple rivers;
  • Real-time and historical data on water levels, gauge heights, and rainfall conditions;
  • 2D and 3D interactive visualizations; and;
  • Flood inundation maps for Mason City, Spencer, Humboldt, Charles City, Waverly, Elkader, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Independence, Ames, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Hills, Columbus Junction, Maquoketa and Ottumwa.

(IFIS) helps Iowans make better-informed decisions on flood planning and mitigation efforts and alerts communities in advance to help them prepare for and minimize potential flood damage. Watershed management groups across the state can also use IFIS to assist with conservation planning to improve soil and water quality and protect people and infrastructure.

The IFC is part of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, a leading research institute based at the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering. The IFC was established in the spring of 2009 following the 2008 flooding disaster. Iowa legislators recognized the need to establish a center for flood research and education to help Iowans better understand their flood risks. It is the nation’s first academic center devoted solely to the study of floods.

Media Contact

Breanna Zimmerman, Iowa Flood Center Outreach Coordinator, 319-384-1729, Breanna-zimmerman@uiowa.edu.

Current Flood Conditions

If you have questions related to current flood conditions, please contact the Iowa Flood Center at 319-384-1729.

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa has an online tool, the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), allowing all Iowans to access the latest community-based flood conditions, including current stream and river levels at nearly 300 US Geological Survey and IFC gauges across the state.

To access IFIS, go to http://ifis.iowafloodcenter.org.  From this page, users can launch IFIS.

IFIS, developed by the Iowa Flood Center, is a user-friendly online application based on a Google Maps-interface.  IFIS displays up-to-the-minute community-specific information on rainfall, stream levels, and more, including:

  • Real-time stream levels at nearly 300 locations in Iowa;
  • Current flood warnings and stream forecasts;
  • Real-time rainfall maps displaying current conditions and past rainfall accumulation; and
  • Flood inundation maps for select communities, including Ames, Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Des Moines, Iowa City, Mason City, Ottumwa, Spencer, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls.
IFIS_inundationmap

One tool in IFIS allows users to view possible inundation in some communities.

IFIS_rain&conditions

Another tool allows users to view daily rainfall alongside current river conditions.

The Iowa Flood Center is part of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, a research institute based at the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering. The IFC was established in 2009 to provide accurate, state-of-the-science-based information to help Iowans better understand their flood risks. It is the nation’s first academic center devoted solely to the study of floods.

CONTACT:
Sara Steussy, Iowa Flood Center, 319-384-1729, sara-steussy@uiowa.edu

Iowa Flood Center Deploys Rain Gauges

Jim Niemeier installs an Iowa Flood Center rain gauge and soil moisture platform in NE Iowa.

This time of year, nothing interests farmers — and most other Iowans as well — more than rainfall. Nearly every conversation you hear includes some version of “Is it going to rain today?” Or if it has rained recently, you’ll hear “How much did we get?”

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) is helping answer the second question with a high level of accuracy, thanks to new state-of-the-art technology. IFC researchers have designed and installed 20 state-of-the-art rain gauges with soil moisture probes in the Turkey River watershed in northeast Iowa, with a few more gauges in the South Fork of the Iowa River watershed (Franklin, Hamilton, and Hardin counties) and the Walnut Creek watershed (Jasper County).

“Rain is critical to so many human activities,” says Witold Krajewski, director of the Iowa Flood Center. “These instruments offer access to real-time information that people need.”

IFIS_raingaugenetwork

A total of twenty-eight Iowa Flood Center rain gauge and soil moisture platforms were deployed across three Iowa watersheds in April 2013.

In addition to measuring precipitation totals, the new gauges also measure moisture and temperature of the soil. The units are solar powered and transmit data via a built-in cell modem. The information is displayed on IFIS with a user-friendly graphic interface.

To view real-time precipitation, soil temperature, and soil moisture data from the instruments, visit IFIS:

  1. Click ‘Launch’.
  2. Choose the State Overview option on the dashboard and click ‘Launch’.
  3. In the upper right corner of the screen, hover your mouse over the DATA RESOURCES tab and click the box next to Rain/Soil Moisture Gauges.
  4. Click on a gauge icon to get more details from that location.
  5. From here, you can click to view additional rain gauge or soil moisture info for the site.
In IFIS, users can view real-time data from the gauges including soil moisture and soil temperature at depths of 2", 4" 8" and 20" near the gauge.

In IFIS, users can view real-time data from the gauges including soil moisture and soil temperature at depths of 2″, 4″ 8″ and 20″ near the gauge.

The new deployment of rain gauges is part of the Iowa Flood Studies project, also known as IFloodS, undertaken this spring in partnership with NASA. IFloodS researchers are collecting ground data across Eastern Iowa as part of NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission, an international satellite mission that will set a new standard for global precipitation measurements from space.

Based at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa, the Iowa Flood Center provides accurate, state-of-the-science-based information to help decision-makers, individuals, and communities better understand their flood risks.

IFC Stream Sensors: Built to Last

The Iowa Flood Center’s stream-stage sensors, mounted on bridges around the state, proved their resilience last week when floodwaters swept through Eastern Iowa. Last Wednesday, at least two of the IFC sensors in the Clear Creek watershed seem to have been overtopped by floodwaters and survived to send more data once the water receded.

The boxes housing the sensors are designed to be submerged in water and still function after the water subsides, says IFC Director Witold Krajewski. “Now we have field proof that the design was successful,” he explains. While the sensors are underwater, they stop sending data. Users of the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) will note this absence of data as a white or blank space in the graphic representation of the water levels (see image below).

BridgeSensor_nodata

Gaps in recorded data from this gage over Clear Creek indicated the sensor could have been submerged in floodwaters during heavy rains on April 18, 2013.

Krajewski says that he does not have complete proof that the sensors were submerged, since the sensors do not “see” the distance when water levels are closer than about a foot from the sensing unit. Despite this, he believes the pattern of the reported data strongly suggests that they were in fact underwater.

If you have photos taken during the recent flood event that show the IFC sensors or their bridges actually underwater, please send them to sara-steussy@uiowa.edu.

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