Enhanced Flood Warning
Introduction

The Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force issued a report in July 2007 identifying recommendations for a proactive, sustainable and systematic approach to flood damage reduction. This report was commissioned at the request of the four basin governors; as funds are allocated, the recommendations contained in the agenda will be systematically implemented. One of the six priority management areas identified by the Task Force was enhancing the basin's current flood warning system.

Effective flood warning is critical to minimize the loss of life and property during flood events. Continued enhancement of an advanced basinwide flood warning system will lead to improvements of the timeliness and accuracy of the flood forecasts and warnings in the basin.

Highlighted below are some of the projects that are either ongoing or have been completed as part of the Delaware River Basin Enhanced Flood Warning System.

A brochure providing a concise overview of the flood warning improvements in the basin made possible through Congressional and NOAA grant support can be downloaded (pdf 2.3 MB).

Flood Inundation Maps (FW-9, FW-11)

Recommendations FW-9 and FW-11 in the Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Task Force Action Plan speak to the development of Flood Inundation Mapping. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Philadelphia District has developed inundation mapping for the main stem of the Delaware River from Port Jervis, N.Y. south to Trenton, N.J. The National Weather Service (NWS) is providing this information online through the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) web page. 

Inundation maps provide information on the spatial extent and depth of flood waters in the vicinity of NWS River Forecast Locations. Users will be able to display flood inundation maps for various levels ranging from minor flooding through the largest observed flood. Flood inundation maps, combined with river observations and NWS forecasts, enhance the communication of flood risk and provide users additional information needed to better mitigate the impacts of flooding and plan for more resilient communities. Flood inundation maps are now available for the following nine flood forecast locations along the Delaware River main stem:

View the NWS public information statements from August 24, 2010 and July 6, 2011 (pdf) for more details.

The NWS has created a video that provides an overview of its Flood Inundation Mapping Services.

Flood Warning User Forums (FW-11)

Recommendation FW-11 in the Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Task Force Action Plan speaks to establishing a Coordinated Flood Warning Education and Outreach Program. Flood Warning User Forums were held in September 2010 for county and local emergency managers in the Delaware River Basin. Click here for more details, including Forum agendas and presentations.

Inventory and Evaluation of Existing Precipitation and Stream Gage Networks & Flood Warning Improvement Recommendations for the DRB (FW-1, FW-2, FW-7)

Flood Warning Improvement Recommendations for the Delaware River Basin - Year 1 Report
Prepared by NOAA/National Weather Service – Eastern Division
In Cooperation with the United States Geological Survey and the Delaware River Basin Commission

This report recommends a set of actions for improving river flood forecasts and warnings in the Delaware River Basin. The report presents the results of work to address Recommendations FW-1.1, FW-2, and FW-7.2 of the Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force Action Plan. The three Task Force recommendations focused on updating precipitation and stream gage inventories, evaluating the basin’s river flood warning network, and recommending steps to address deficiencies and improve flood warning services. This report summarizes the updated gage inventories and lists a series of specific steps necessary for improvement of the gage network and expansion of flood forecasting services. 

The project was completed under direction of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Weather Service (NWS) – Eastern Region Headquarters, Hydrologic Services Division, and the report was written through NOAA contract support to the Eastern Region Headquarters. The updated stream gage inventory was completed by support contractors and coordinated with the U.S. Geological Survey Water Science Centers in Delaware/Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The updated precipitation gage inventories and flood warning network evaluations were completed by the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center at State College, PA, and the Weather Forecast Offices at Binghamton, NY and Mt. Holly, NJ, and coordinated through the support contractors.