Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

North Carolina Emergency Management

Project Goal

FIMAN is a unique component in the NC Flood Plain Mapping program. Traditional floodplain maps are based on model simulations of probabilistic storm events, such as a 100-year event; FIMAN provides actual storm-specific rainfall/stream/flood information based on a system of gages located throughout the state. This system integrates existing gages maintained by the US Geological Survey and other agencies with state-owned gages, resulting in a network of approximately 550 gages. Gage readings are typically recorded every 15 to 30 minutes. Data collected at the gages is transmitted by radios or satellite, retrieved and processed, and then stored into an enterprise GIS database. Custom tools then evaluate readings and assess potential flood conditions. During flooding conditions, the tools will calculate estimated impacts and send automated alerts. Esri ArcGIS for Server is used to display the locations and query real-time gages and flood impact information in a custom web application.
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Business Problem Solved

The goal of the FIMAN system is to reduce the loss of life and flood-related property damage by providing emergency managers and the public with more timely, detailed, and accurate information. Views assist the general public to learn about flood conditions and alerts in an area of interest. An interactive map displays pins showing the gage status and trend of all gages in the state. Users can find gages of interest using their current location, view gages within a search radius, or search by river basin or gage name. Selecting a gage displays the most recent stage, flow, and predicted risk information. Where available, forecast information from the National Weather Service is also displayed. What-if scenario tools show potential flood damage/impact estimates. For example, these tools can show what areas will flood if the gage gets to a certain level. Users can also sign up for automated email notifications when a gage of interest changes flood state.

Technology Implemented

The FIMAN network utilizes multiple technologies to collect and feed real-time data to GIS servers for dissemination. Other Esri Technology includes
1. ArcGIS 10.4.1 for Server with Enterprise Geodatabase (SQL Server)
2. ArcGIS API for JavaScript
3. Next FIM:
a. ArcPy Mapping
b. ArcGIS Spatial Analyst tools

Development Team Biography

John Dorman is the Assistant State Emergency Management Director for Risk Management. He and his team are responsible for the design, acquisition, analysis, and dissemination of data, models, systems and applications associated with all hazard / threat risk management. Mr. Dorman is also the Director of the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program established as a Cooperating Technical State by FEMA.
Kurt Golembesky: Senior engineer with NCFMP. Kurt is the technical lead on the Flood Inundation and Alert Network (FIMAN) project that provides real-time and forecasted flood maps at select sites across North Carolina.
This program would not be possible without the assistance of several others in the NCFMP office including David Herlong and Jamie Hammermann. We would also like to thank ESP Associates as the lead consultant on FIMAN, including stream gage installation and maintenance, flood hazard mapping development, system architecture and design and all website, tools and reporting.

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