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City's flood warning system expands

Posted Dec. 5, 2018

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More people die each year from flooding than from lightning, tornadoes or hurricanes, and nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related.

Flooding also affects properties in Fort Worth, where from Jan. 1, 2017, through Oct. 31 of this year, 19 FEMA flood claims were filed for damaged property and more than $100,000 in claims were paid. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable flood warning system in the most flood-prone areas.

Protecting people and property from harmful stormwater runoff is a top priority. A community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave., to update the community on the new flood warning system and to get feedback on the Draft Flood Response Plan.

The new flood warning system uses the existing system’s communication infrastructure as much as possible and includes improved weather data collection, expanded flood gage network, new software, real-time data and a flood response plan.

The city’s current flood warning system relies on water level measurements made at 52 low-water crossings throughout the city. Roadside flashers are installed at these locations to immediately warn drivers of a flood hazard. At the same time, text and email alerts to emergency responders are issued when the water level sensors of each flasher system are triggered from rising water.

A grant from the Texas Water Development Board is providing development support for system improvements, and stormwater utility fees will fund the project too.

To learn more about the project, contact Ranjan S. Muttiah at 817-392-7919.

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