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"The successful integration of FloodMapp's technology into Waze has the potential to save property and lives and help coastal communities worldwide adapt to the threats from climate change."
RISE Executive Director
Flooding has been a part of most people's lives in Norfolk, Virginia for the last century, however in more recent years, flooding has become more problematic and a risk to public safety.
A major problem experienced throughout the city is the increased frequency of flooded roads causing significant disruptions to transport which impacts economic and social activity.
The City of Norfolk had access to a lot of information including flood sensors, and static flood studies. But given the speed and scale of unfolding flood events, little actionable intelligence was available. Any solution to this problem had to be timely, accurate, and targeted. The City sought help from RISE; who put out a global call with their Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge, seeking real-time flood modeling technology which can be used to help traffic navigate around flooded roads.
FloodMapp, through RISE Resilience Innovations' Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge, was selected and worked with the City of Norfolk to understand their detailed use case requirements to solve this challenge.
Leveraging the power of NowCast's real-time capability, FloodMapp was able to identify and access the data needed to meet the speed, accuracy, and granularity required. NowCast was implemented to run and refresh results every 15 minutes as new tidal and rainfall observations are ingested, producing 1 meter resolution flood inundation models, accurate within inches.
City road data was used in RoadSafe, a powerful analytics service which predicts flooded roads based on NowCast inundation data. Flood depth thresholds, developed in collaboration with the City, are used to define road hazards and road closures respectively based on the depth of flooding over each road segment.
The solution was then delivered to Norfolk’s ArcGIS Online organization, where they can view live road closures and road hazard segments which update dynamically as a flood unfolds.
FloodMapp NowCast and RoadSafe flood intelligence are delivered and rendered as a City-wide common operating picture and single point of truth via Esri’s ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro systems. This provides the City of Norfolk staff and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) with hyper-local flood intelligence in real-time. This vital situational awareness has helped to inform emergency managers and public works officials in their operational response to flooding, which supports in delivering community messaging, planning, and response decision-making.
Concurrently, citizens can access FloodMapp RoadSafe via their Waze App, which quickly alerts them to flood hazards in real-time and enables safe route planning to navigate away from delay or danger.
Since launching the system live to residents in October 2021, Waze users confirmed more than 4,348 flooded roads predicted by FloodMapp RoadSafe. Drivers have provided over 9,452 thumbs-ups to validate these predictions (an average of 2.2 and a maximum of 72 confirmations per hazard).
What is FloodMapp's point of difference?We offer a world-first model for scalable, real-time flood mapping. Our proprietary modelling software, DASH, delivers street level flood impact extents across whole states or countries. Where current flood warnings advise of the time and height of a predicted flood peak, our model will predict which specific properties or assets on a street will be impacted or show those that currently are or were previously impacted. FloodMapp’s products support all phases of the emergency management process, enabling situational awareness before, during and after a flood. We’re different because we understand that every flood is different and dynamic. We focus on modelling all phases of a flood event to answer the questions "Where is it going to flood, and what people, property and critical infrastructure will be impacted?”, "What is the extent of the flooding right now?" and "What was the maximum extent of the flood?" We bridge the gap in situational awareness by providing automatic updates of flood impact extent every hour, 24/7, as the flood event unfolds.
What locations do you provide coverage in?We have growing operational coverage in Australia and the United States, with new regions coming online each week. If you are interested in other areas of the world, please contact us to register your interest.
How accurate are your results?Our products are built for emergency managers and their peers, with a focus on modelling flood extents in real-time to provide round-the-clock situational awareness. We validate our models based on a variety of publicly and client-provided sources. A large-scale review showed FloodMapp models correctly identify up to 85% of inundated properties, when compared to state government damage assessment datasets.
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