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February 26, 2015
New Interactive Flood Warning Maps for the Blue River Basin in Kansas and Missouri

Feb. 26, 2015—A new interactive online tool to improve flood warnings and emergency management is now available in selected parts of Johnson County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri. These new maps were developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Overland Park, Kansas, and the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

This new tool will help emergency managers from national, state and local agencies make quick decisions about when and how to evacuate residents threatened by rising floodwaters. The flood-inundation maps, developed using USGS streamgages already in place, will enable better flood preparedness and response.

The USGS Flood Inundation Mapping product is an interactive web-based tool that shows the extent of flooding at selected rivers and streams across the U.S. The maps illustrate where flooding is occurring, as well as areas that will likely flood in the near future. The flood-forecasting portion of the map is determined by using real-time USGS streamgage information and flood-forecast information by the National Weather Service (NWS). The mapping product can be found online. For more information, visit the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Program website.

“This technology will greatly help the public and officials minimize flood deaths and damage in the Kansas City metropolitan area,” said Lynda Hoffman, Division Manager Waterways Division Kansas City Water Services. “When flood events are predicted by the NWS, the inundation mapping will provide crucial information on the web to residents and business along the Blue River for deciding when to evacuate or move critical equipment to higher ground.”

Locally, the map features the Blue River and its tributaries, including Tomahawk and Indian Creeks in Johnson County, Kansas, and Indian and Brush Creeks in Jackson County, Missouri. The flood-inundation maps will encompass nearly 60 miles of the Blue River and its tributaries, and is the largest contiguous-mapped network of its kind in the country. A full report on the flood-inundation maps for Indian Creek and Tomahawk Creek is available online. Flood-inundation maps for the Blue River main stem, Brush Creek, and lower Indian Creek in Missouri are also available.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. 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 by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert. See where floodwaters go by following a stream trace at Streamer. View water data on your mobile device. Learn how a USGS streamgage works.

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