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Friday, May 14, 2021

New tech coming soon that aims to predict flood water depth home-by-home

(Radio Iowa) - The Iowa Flood Center is creating technology that will forecast Missouri River flooding and provide information on how it could affect individual homes, businesses and farms. Scientists hope the tech will better inform and prepare people for flooding. Larry Weber, co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center, says during the 2019 flooding, people had very little information about how much water might inundate their property.

"The depth of water at your house is a very important piece of information as you're trying to decide whether to evacuate your home," Weber says, "and if you do decide to evacuate, what belongings to bring with you or to take with you out of the home."

Weber says the Missouri River Flood Forecast and Information System will use forecast models of flooding in real-time and Google Maps to display that information and make it readily available to people. Weber says the center’s simulation tool will have more relevant data online that people will want to see.

Weber says, "Our forecast system will provide that very specific home-by-home, business-by-business, farm-by-farm depth of water at the time of a levee breach or levee overtopping."

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Weber says he'll show off a beta version of the system in the southwest Iowa towns of Hamburg and Pacific Junction this week.

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