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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center - Mississippi

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Hattiesburg Flood Inundation

Project Chief: John Storm
Partners: City of Hattiesburg
City of Petal
Forrest County
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
Mississippi Department of Homeland Security
Emergency Management District
Period of Project:

USGS Flood Inundation Mapper
USGS Flood Inundation Mapper

Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters in the United States and are the leading cause of weather related deaths. Advances in technology have improved warning systems and have helped to decrease the loss of life over the past 50 years. Several sources of information are available to citizens and public officials to help make timely decisions regarding flood awareness and flood loss mitigation. Sources of information include the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) real-time streamgaging network web site and the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast of peak stage at USGS streamgages.

Screen capture of the Flood Inundation Mapper.

Screen capture of the Flood Inundation Mapper.


Although current USGS stage and NWS forecasted stage data are particularly useful for residents in the immediate vicinity of a streamgage, the data are of limited use to residents further upstream or downstream because water-surface elevations are not constant for the entire length of any stream of interest. Also, information related to water depth at locations other than those near USGS streamgages or NWS flood-forecast points is typically lacking. To help guide the general public in taking individual safety precautions and to provide local officials with a tool to help efficiently manage emergency flood operations and flood-mitigation efforts, a library of static flood-inundation maps can be developed using hydraulic modeling, a Digital Elevation Model, and a Geographic Information System. The library consists of digital maps created in advance of a flood that show areal extent of flooding and water depth for pre-determined stream-stage intervals. Users can determine the most relevant map based on USGS real-time stage information or NWS forecasted flood stage.

The USGS, in cooperation with the City of Hattiesburg, City of Petal, Forrest County, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Department of Homeland Security, and the Emergency Management District, has developed a digital flood-inundation map library for a 1.7-mile reach of the Leaf River at Hattiesburg, MS. The reach extends from U.S. Highway 11 to East Hardy/South Main Street and includes the USGS real-time streamgage 02473000 Leaf River at Hattiesburg.

Flood forecasting information for this streamgage can be obtained from the NWS by clicking here.

Digital maps are displayed through an interactive web mapper, and details of the project and modeling process are available in an online report. The availability of these maps, when combined with real- time stage information from USGS streamgages and forecasted stream stage from the NWS, provides emergency management personnel and residents with critical information during flood-response activities, such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.

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URL: http://ms.water.usgs.gov/projects/FloodInundation/index.html
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Feb-2013 15:24:52 EST