Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 51-10. Practices for Integrated Flood Prediction and Response Systems

A critical issue facing DOTs is determining the extent and the severity of flooding events. Roadways and bridge flooding have significant economic impacts and are a major contributor to deaths during flood events. State department of transportation (DOTs) and other state and local agencies have implemented integrated flood warning and response systems. This is critical for staging personnel, inspecting bridges, and flood tracking through the state. Support for these efforts can come from internal products, flood inundation mapping using current and projected conditions, turnkey products on the market, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gaging network and the National Weather Service flood forecast. In addition to anticipating flood areas, states are tasked with alerting the public about affected areas and protecting them from these hazards. DOTs and other agencies must determine the flood’s extent and severity to effectively work with emergency management and inform the public about road closures and detour routes. There are multiple methods of warning the public about floods including warning lights tied to gages, sensors, personnel blocking off areas, warnings on official websites, and using USGS and National Weather Service products. Communication is key to the effective response before, during, and after flood events. Communication gaps within and between agencies have been identified following recent flood events such as those in North and South Carolina between 2015 and 2018. The objective of this synthesis is to document the integrated flood prediction and response systems being used by state DOTs. Information will be collected through literature review, survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples that document successful practices. Case examples should cover a diverse range of geographic regions, flood causes and levels of government. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.


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  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 51-10

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Zwahlen, Tanya

  • Performing Organizations:

    Villanova University

    Villanova, PA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Park, Seri

  • Start Date: 20190919
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01704613
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 51-10
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 13 2019 3:09PM