Are Flood Warnings Futile?
Flood warnings often don't work well and too frequently fail completely - and this despite great effort by the responsible authorities. This paper examines flood warnings and offers several policy, practice, and research suggestions.
Boulder Creek Flood Notebook
The "Boulder Creek Flood Notebook" is a unique Web project. It is a plan for documenting and disseminating information about the causes and effects of a specific disaster that has not yet happened: the next great flood of Boulder, Colorado.
During the month of February 1998, California was struck by a series of storms due in part to the effects of El Niño. The state suffered over $550 million in damages and 17 storm-related deaths; 35 counties were declared federal disaster areas.
Coping with Flood
The North Dakota State University Extension Service offers this thorough Web section which provides resources for homeowners and family members, and discusses how to prepare for flooding and steps to take after a flood. It includes detailed information on everything from assessing damaged electrical systems and appliances to dealing with financial concerns.
Dams and Floods
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) research warns that dams built with the promise of reducing flooding can often exacerbate the problem with catastrophic consequences, as some recent floods have shown. "Dams and Floods" shows that dams are often designed with a very poor knowledge of the potential for extreme flood events. Where data does exist it may fail to consider current risks such as increased rainfall due to climate change or increased run-off of water from land due to deforestation or the drainage of wetlands. The loss of these natural sponges for floodwaters within the river basin increases the risk of extreme floods. WWF argues that many of these problems could be avoided if the recommendations of the first ever World Commission on Dams (WCD)were applied to future dam projects.
Evaluation of CRS Credited Activities During Hurricane Floyd
Following Hurricane Floyd, FEMA funded a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of flood mitigation activities that had been implemented in North Carolina. The results of that study are now available in the report, "Evaluation of CRS Credited Activities During Hurricane Floyd."
Flood Damage in the U.S.
Flood Damage in the United States, 1926-2000: A Reanalysis of National Weather Service Estimates, by Roger A. Pielke, Jr., Mary W. Downton, and J. Zoe Barnard Miller, is a reanalysis of flood damage estimates collected by the National Weather Service (NWS) between 1925 and 2000. The flood damage estimates presented in this website are compiled from NWS records and publications, supplemented by reports of other federal and state agencies. The accompanying report includes an evaluation of the accuracy of the estimates and recommendations for users of the data.When properly used, the reanalyzed NWS damage estimates can be a valuable tool to aid researchers and decision makers in understanding the changing character of damaging floods in the U.S.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA National Flood Insurance Program
FEMA operates this program to provide relatively inexpensive flood disaster protection for communities certified to participate in the program; more than 3 million policies are in force. Information on communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program can be found at: FEMA - National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book. Information about the Community Rating System, which provides reduced premiums to communities that undertake flood mitigation activities exceeding NFIP minimum standards, can be found at: NFIP Community Rating System
Final Report of the Flood Emergency Action Team
In January 1997, Californians suffered severe flooding across the entire state, resulting in at least $2 billion in damage. To address the many questions that these floods raised, the governor of California formed a Flood Emergency Action Team (FEAT), which held citizen advisory meetings across the state. Its report describes its efforts, lists the team's final recommendations to the governor, summarizes the flood event and the emergency management response to it, lists broad floodplain management issues for the state, describes possible flood control system improvements, and examines consequent funding issues.
In most years, flooding causes more deaths and damage than any other hydrometeorological phenomena. In many years it is common for three-quarters of all Federally declared disaster declarations to be due, at least in part, to flooding. This site lists flood fatalities and damages since 1903.
Floodplain Management Web Site
This page provides a general description of the field of floodplain management.
This listserv has been established for the community dedicated to reducing injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by floods.
The Gathering Storm
Never before has so much flooding so humbled America. An assessment of flooding in the United States in the 1990s.
Insurance News Network NFIP Information
This site provides background information on the National Flood Insurance Program, including a Frequently Asked Questions section.
The Learning Center
A great general resource for information on floods -- risks, causes, frequency, glossary, etc. (from the Floodplain Management Web site)
The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center's Cooperative Extension Service maintains this Web site which includes sections on flood conditions, safety and recovery, emergency protection, and flood damage prevention. It provides numerous downloadable publications on flood mitigation and floodproofing, including "Beyond the Basics," which covers flood risk and protection.
Midwest Flood of 1993: Weather, Climate, and Societal Impacts
Roger Pielke Jr.
This is the second case study of the extreme mesoscale events and impact project. This report has three general objectives: (1) to review what is known about the U.S. flood problem in terms of societal vulnerability; (2) to examine the various processes society has developed to address flood problems; and (3) to distill lessons from various assessments and retrospective analyses of the Midwest Floods of 1993.
National Weather Service Significant River Flood Outlook
This map shows flood potential for the contiguous 48 states. Updated daily, this 5-day outlook provides an entry point for users seeking more detailed hydrologic information provided by the NWS's regional River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs).
NCDC Heavy Rainfall Maps
A complete resource of 24 hour rainfall maximums by state.
Ohio River Valley Flood of March 1997
A National Weather Service evaluation team was sent to the Ohio River Valley following severe weather events in early March of 1997 that produced flash flooding and record river flooding across the region. This Web site offers a downloadable "Service Assessment" that includes findings and recommendations from that event. This report is in.pdf format; you will need ACROBAT to read this file.
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Publications available from the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado
Strengthening Local Flood Protection Programs. Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, June 1986. 326 pp.
What We Have Learned Since the Big Thompson Flood. Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary Conference, July 1986. Boulder, CO. 282 pp.
Partnerships: Effective Flood Hazard Management. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, May 1989. Scottsdale, AZ. 315 pp.
Inspiration: Come to the Headwaters. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, June 1991. Denver, CO. 400 pp.
Action Agenda for Managing the Nation's Floodplains. A Review of Floodplain Management in the United States: An Assessment Report.1992. 22 pp.
Cross Training: Light the Torch. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, March 1993. Atlanta, GA. 250 pp.
NANIA - "All Together." Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, May 1994. Tulsa, OK. 472 pp.
From the Mountains to the Sea - Developing Local Capabilities. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, May 1995. Portland, ME. 490 pp.
Coast to Coast: 20 Years of Progress. Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, June 1996. San Diego, CA. 414 pp.
Floodplain Management in a Multifaceted World. Proceedings of the Twenty-first Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, April 1997. Little Rock, ARK. 372 pp.
Times Are Changing: Flood Mitigation Technology. Proceedings of the Twenty-second Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, May 1998. Milwaukee, WI. 478 pp.
Gruntfest, E. C., ed., 1997. Twenty Years Later: What We Have Learned Since the Big Thompson Flood Event. 230 pp.
Machalek, J. 1992. A Bibliography of Weather and Climate Hazards (2nd Edition). Topical Bibliography No. 16, University of Colorado, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center. 331 pp.
Moore, J.W. and D.P. Moore 1989. The Army Corp of Engineers and the Evolution of Federal Flood Plain Management Policy. 184 pp.
Weiner, J. 1996. The Socioeconomic Aspects of Flooding in the U.S.: A Topical Bibliography. Topical Bibliography No. 19, University of Colorado, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center.
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Red River of the North Flood Reports
Two on-line NWS reports about the Red River of the North Flood of 1997: Service Assessement and Hydraulic Analysis (August 1998); Actions Taken Following the Red River of the North Flood of 1997.
Risk Frontiers: Mainstream flood risk rating and analysis
Included on this site is a GIS-based model for estimating mainstream flood risk in urban areas on a per address basis. Users can determine risk according to zip code for certain cities in Australia.
Significant Floods in the United States During the 20th Century - USGS Measures a Century of Floods
During the 20th century, floods were the number one natural disaster in the United States in terms of the number of lives lost and property damage. For more than 110 years the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has measured floods for the nation's benefit while supplying streamflow data with its extensive stream-gaging network. This report lists, by type of flood, 32 of the most significant 20th century U.S. floods in terms of number of lives lost and/or property damage. Links for near-real-time streamflow data and other pertinent flood information are also provided.
Sustainable Water Use in Europe - Part 3: Extreme Hydrological Events: Floods and Droughts
This report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents an overview of the main causes and impacts of floods and droughts in Europe and provides an overview of policy responses to prevent such disasters or reduce resultant damage. It also describes some of the major recent disasters in the region and thus provides a comprehensive survey of flood and drought hazards in Europe.
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