The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) recently rolled out a new floodplain information portal to help with public outreach and to improve an outdated permitting system. The portal ,which has been in use internally at the District since early in 2008, went live to the public on January 1, 2009.
Flood information is now available over the web, eliminating much of the administrative burden previously required to deliver flood information to residents, businesses, surveyors and other users. The tool educates users and provides information concerning flood zone location and type, along with descriptions of how to interpret the specific Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) flood zones.
In addition to traditional floodplain information, such as zone designations, the portal also provides base flood elevation (BFE) information, allowing for site-specific BFEs on-demand. This unique BFE feature has allowed permitting officials at the District to abandon previous permitting workflows that involved spreadsheets and manual scaling on hardcopy maps. Lead developer Khansith Boupha of Dewberry in Tampa, FL says the key to the automated BFE determination is the 3-Dimensional water surface terrains developed using the latest GIS technologies.
“The flood report tool has been extremely useful when communicating to property owners about their flooding risk,” says Kevin Wright, Water Resources Engineer for the District. “The system, developed by Dewberry, allows for accuracy beyond what is commonly possible by interpreting BFEs from flood profiles from a Flood Insurance Study.”
For more information on the new floodplain information portal, please visit the website listed above or contact the District by calling 386-362-1001.