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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center -- Arkansas

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Hydrologic Monitoring for the City of Hot Springs Early Flood Warning Information System

Short Title: Hot Springs Flood Warning System
Project Chief: Bob Blanchard
Cooperator: City of Hot Springs
Project Time Frame: 2008- present

In May 1990, a series of severe thunderstorms developed in the vicinity of Hot Springs with a total of 13.25 inches of rainfall measured at the National Park Service rainfall gage. Severe flooding caused by the excessive rainfall damaged numerous bridges and homes throughout the region and resulted in the loss of one life. Floodwaters 2 to 4 feet deep flowed through the historic downtown area of Hot Springs, causing extensive damage to private and public property.

The purpose of the project is to install, operate, and maintain streamflow gaging and precipitation networks to serve as a data collection network for the City of Hot Spring's flood-warning information system. Four stage/streamflow/precipitation gages and two precipitation-only gages are installed to monitor hydrologic conditions. The system issues phone calls to the City of Hot Springs and the National Weather Service using telephone communication through phone modems installed at the gaging stations when specific stage or rainfall criteria have been met or exceeded to alert them of possible flooding conditions. Additionally, data collected with the instrumentation are transmitted using satellite telemetry and posted to the USGS webpage which can be viewed from any computer with internet access including those at the Hot Springs fire station. Streamflow and rainfall data are computed at gaging stations located on; Whittington Creek at the tunnel entrance and at Whittington Park (upstream of the tunnel entrance), Hot Springs Creek upstream of the tunnel entrance at the Glade Street crossing; and, downstream of the tunnel exit at Grand Avenue. Rainfall data are computed at gaging stations located on the south slope of Sugarloaf Mountain and on the eastern ridge of Music Mountain near Blacksnake Road.

For links to USGS gages associated with the Hydrologic Monitoring for the City of Hot Springs Early Flood Warning Information System project, please visit the project's web page at the following URL: http://ar.water.usgs.gov/hotsprings/

Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4007
Flood of May 19-20, 1990, in the vicinity of Hot Springs, Arkansas,
by Rodney E. Southard

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 09-Jan-2013 17:30:27 EST alp