The City of Rochester, Minnesota, asked Barr to develop flood-inundation-map libraries that could be tied to National Weather Service flood forecasts at USGS stream gauges. We conducted hydraulic modeling to create map libraries showing inundation extents at one-foot-elevation intervals for four locations within the city limits. To make the maps more accessible and deployable during a flood, Barr developed an ArcGIS-based interface for automating the creation of annotated maps that shows the inundation extents for the current flood forecast at the associated stream gauge. These maps can be shared with city staff members and the public to facilitate emergency-response and flood-fighting efforts.
The inundation map libraries are also valuable tools for emergency planning. Along with the map libraries, Barr developed the framework for an emergency-flood-response database that can be used to organize the various emergency responses that must occur at a given flood level. By pre-populating activities such as road and trail closures, sand bagging, and evacuation areas, the city is in a better position to respond to floods proactively when they occur.
Senior Water Resources Engineer
Vice President Senior Civil Engineer