FLOOD PREDICTOR TOOL
What is the Flood Predictor Tool?
The Flood Predictor Tool is a new digital technology that can rapidly analyze regional flood risks using real-time and historical data to support critical planning decisions on the state and local level. The tool generates high-quality flood predictions based on more than 30,000 hours of engineered flood modeling. While not a substitute for engineering, it’s a more cost effective and efficient approach than complex hydrology and hydraulic models to understand an area’s flood risk.
This provides emergency officials as well as business owners, residents, and first responders with critical information about flood patterns, areas most likely to flood, and the best evacuation routes to take in an emergency.
By providing detailed and up-to-date information about flood risks, the Flood Predictor Tool allows Tennessee officials, communities, and businesses to better plan and prepare for disasters, which can save countless lives and dollars. The tool can also guide decisions about public infrastructure projects, map best evacuation routes, and serve as an important resource through a user-friendly dashboard accessible to decision makers at all levels of government.
Using data gathered from a historical sources and updated in real time, the Flood Predictor Tool is able to predict the impact of various flooding scenarios.
What does 4 inches of rain overnight look like for this small town in West Tennessee? Which roads will flood and which roads are safe to drive on? What neighborhoods will likely need emergency resources? How does the pattern change in a flash flood scenario?
If we can anticipate where flooding will be most acute, we can mitigate the risk factors by adjusting the size of culverts, building up flood barriers, altering design plans, and allocating resources. The Flood Predictor Tool allows for better planning in local communities. County and city governments can access the tool, free of charge, to better build community specific plans.
Currently, only localities large and affluent enough to hire a flooding expert can begin to understand their flood risk this way. Tennessee’s rural communities deserve to be just as well prepared as our big cities for disaster.
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How do we get the Flood Predictor Tool in Tennessee?
The Flood Predictor Tool is currently deployed in a pilot program with Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in West Tennessee, but the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has included state-wide expansion of the Flood Predictor Tool in its budget request for this year, alongside the mesonet. Protect Tennessee supports this $3.5 million request and asks that it be granted in the final budget passed by the Tennessee General Assembly.