A Pilot Project Using GIS to Map Undocumented Levees in Minnesota
Local, state, and federal managers tasked with forecasting flood peaks, predicting the extent of flood inundation, mitigating the risk associated with flooding or levee failure, or responding during flood emergencies require detailed knowledge about levee locations and characteristics. Although some levees are accredited in FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps and supporting studies and/or included in the USACE National Levee Database, many undocumented, unaccredited, and often unmaintained levees exist, which complicates flood forecasting, risk management, and emergency response.
Collaboration Aids Effective Post-Flood Documentation and Recovery
Severe flooding struck northeastern Minnesota in June 2012. Damages from flooding were extensive and included major transportation disruptions and damages to homes and businesses, dams and flood-control structures, and parks and recreation areas. Damage caused by the flooding resulted in a Presidential Disaster Declaration on July 6, 2012.
Emergency Action Plan Guidebook Template
The Minnesota Silver Jackets Team, in association with the North Dakota Silver Jackets Team, FEMA, MN Homeland Security and Emergency Management, USACE EM, and the USACE Levee Safety CoP, developed this guide for small to medium sized communities and tribes as a way to develop and document the information they would need to have a safe and effective flood emergency response. Many communities rely on county and state all-hazard plans, but have not complied the critical information for their location-specific conditions. This is also an opportunity to record the institutional knowledge of those residents and public officials who have experienced local flood events. The St. Paul District, through Silver Jackets support, has been able to conduct local and regional workshops on how to develop these community level flood emergency action plans. All of the documents and fillable forms for the guidebook can be found at the following link: Guidebook (pdf, 4.6 MB).