San Antonio Invests in Flood Forecasting Software
SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 18, 201—The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) recently invested in FloodWorks, a flood alert system to enhance emergency responders’ capabilities to respond to flash flood conditions. With investment in this advanced monitoring system, SARA is partnering with the San Antonio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to improve the response capability during flash floods.
SARA’s implementation of FloodWorks is the first of this software system in the United States and among few worldwide. “SARA is proud to deliver an innovative, ground-breaking software tool to improve the response time and efficiency of emergency response crews. We envision that SARA and the EOC partnering in this effort will protect lives during unpredictable flood-related disasters,” explains Suzanne Scott, SARA’s General Manager.
FloodWorks is a software application for real-time simulation and forecasting of hydrological and hydraulic conditions within river basins. By linking rainfall radar data from the National Weather Service with a wide range of models, FloodWorks enables SARA to monitor over 183 creek/river miles and over 120 key low water river crossings in Bexar County that historically are known to flood. Detailed and accurate water surface levels, flows, velocities and floodplain mapping in near-real time will be provided for points that cover the San Antonio River, the Leon Creek, the Medina River, the Salado Creek and Cibolo Creek.
The forecasted data and output is then transmitted to the EOC via a user-friendly, interactive website for visualizing and reporting forecast results. Russell Persyn, Engineering Manager at SARA, explains that “SARA’s aim is to minimize the impact of flooding for Bexar County residents and businesses by providing the EOC with situational awareness. The threat and economic impact of flooding is substantial in this area and demands effective flood risk management and mitigation planning.”
With the powerful and comprehensive forecasting capabilities, FloodWorks will serve as a decision support system to enable emergency services. “I applaud the San Antonio River Authority for taking this proactive and cutting-edge approach to flood safety,” said Charles N. Hood, San Antonio Fire Chief. “This partnership between SARA and the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management will not only help save citizens’ lives but also the lives of our first responders.”
The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) was created by the 45th Texas Legislature on May 5, 1937 and reorganized in 1961 to plan, manage and implement water-related programs and projects within the San Antonio River Watershed. The State of Texas empowered SARA to preserve, protect and manage the resources and the ecology of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. To learn more about the SARA, visit our website at www.sara-tx.org.