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Technical Announcement:
USGS Crews Measure Record Floods in Georgia

Released: 9/23/2009 2:30:19 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Edward Martin 1-click interview
Phone: 770-903-9100

Brian McCallum 1-click interview
Phone: 770-903-9127

Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding?  Please contact Brian McCallum – 770-903-9127.

The U. S. Geological Survey has crews measuring the historic flooding in many parts of Georgia, especially in north Georgia and the Atlanta region.

The USGS has deployed field crews to help repair more than 20 streamgages that were destroyed from the flooding. Crews are rushing to install temporary gages and make streamflow measurements to provide real-time flood information to emergency managers. In Georgia, there are about 300 USGS-operated streamgages that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. The information is used for numerous purposes, including public safety and flood forecasting by the National Weather Service.

More than 50 streamgage stations have measurements above flood stage.

“These are historic floods and we know that people’s lives are at risk, so we burn the candle at both ends to try to keep our real-time gages running,” said Brian McCallum, USGS Supervisory Hydrologist, who oversees the streamgage operations and the field crews.  “Because many of the gages have been destroyed, we are attempting to install as many temporary gages as possible to ensure that real-time data is available to emergency managers.”

Pictures taken by USGS crews, a map of real-time streamflow monitoring sites, and graphs of flooding in Georgia from the past 7 days are available at the USGS Georgia Water Science Center Web site.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The USGS collects data from more than 7,500 streamgages, many of which provide real-time data in 15-minute increments. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.

Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country at the USGS WaterWatch Web site.

For more information on USGS flood-related activities is available at the USGS Surface Water Information Web site.

USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.

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