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City's flood warning system to expand

Posted Oct. 16, 2017

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traffic signal flood system
Fort Worth's current warning system includes roadside flashing lights at 52 low-water crossings across the city.

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, 2016, through June 1 of this year, 560 FEMA flood claims were filed for damaged property, and more than $275,000 in claims were paid. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable flood warning system in the most flood-prone areas.

Toward its mission of “protecting people and property from harmful stormwater runoff,” the city’s Stormwater Management staff will meet with residents and stakeholders at a public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave., Room 201, to give an update on progress to the new flood warning system.

The improved flood warning system will use the existing system’s communication infrastructure as much as possible, while making improvements to weather data collection, expand the flood gauge network, add new software, disseminate real-time data to the public and have 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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