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Media Advisory: Track Hurricane Flooding in Real-Time
From the Stream to Your Desktop?

Released: 8/29/2005 1:07:30 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Carolyn Bell 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4463 (office), 703-472-3935 (cell)

Robert Mason 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-5305 (office), 703-405-5823 (cell)

Website screenshot of the U.S. showing real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for August 30, 2005.

Did you know that from your desk you can monitor the effect of Hurricane Katrina as it moves inland? The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) WaterWatch Web site can show you what’s happening to streams in your local area and show you the places most affected by heavy rains expected from this storm.

From the website http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/, click on your state to select a gaging station on a local stream.

Most pages show at what water level rivers will overflow their banks. That information is particularly important for places along the storm’s path that are already experiencing above-average flows. You can produce customized graphs and tables showing stream level for the past 1-31 days.

The USGS operates a network of more than 7,000 stream gages throughout the country and provides this real-time information to the National Weather Service where it is used for flood forecasting as well as to notify emergency managers. Field personnel collect data, or the gages relay it through telephones or satellites to offices where it is processed automatically in near real time. In many cases, the data are available online within minutes.

For more information on USGS flood-related activities, please see: http://water.usgs.gov/osw/.

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state. They can provide more detailed information on stream conditions and on the USGS response to local events: http://water.usgs.gov/district_chief.html.

For more information on USGS storm-related activities, please see the following sites:

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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