"Parts or all of over 20,000 communities in the United States are subject to a substantial risk of flooding. Some of these communities are along large rivers and
smaller streams, some are in the desert, and some are on hillsides. With very few exceptions, almost all areas of the United States are subject to some kind of flooding when the right set of circumstances occur."
Section 1. Organizations and Agencies|
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- Association of State Floodplain Managers
- The Association of State Floodplain Managers is an organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, the National Flood Insurance Program, and flood preparedness, warning and recovery. The group has become a respected voice in floodplain management practice and policy in the United States because it represents the flood hazard specialists of local, state and federal government, the research community, the insurance industry, and the fields of engineering, hydrologic forecasting, emergency response, water resources, and others.
- Bureau of Reclamation
- CSU Flash Flood Lab
- The Flash Flood Lab at Colorado State University is a problem-focused, multi-disciplinary center providing applied research, education and a communication forum to reduce the future impact of flash flood disasters. This site provides information about the lab and flash floods, upcoming events, how to prepare for and survive a flood, and links to other relevant sites.
- NOAA Climate Prediction Center
- NWS River Forecast Centers (RFCs)
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Geological Survery Water Resources of the U.S.
- The main water resource page of the U.S. Geological Survey directs readers to reports of current floods or other hydrological events. The site also includes a page offering current streamflow conditions for many states as well as numerous links to other information on the web.
- Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB)
- The site of the National Research Council's Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) provides the mission statement of the board, information about current and past projects--many of which deal with flooding and other water-related hazards--and on-line reports and other publications. The site also includes the WSTB Newsletter, with current project updates and contact information.
Section 2. General Resources
Flood Warnings Futile?
- Flood warnings often don't work well and too frequently fail
completely - and this despite great effort by the responsible
authorities. This paper examines flood warnings and offers several
policy, practice, and research suggestions.
Creek Flood Notebook
- The "Boulder Creek Flood Notebook" is a unique Web project.
It is a plan for documenting and disseminating information about
the causes and effects of a specific disaster that has not yet
happened: the next great flood of Boulder, Colorado.
- California Flood
- This site includes a clickable map of potential and actual
floods in California, copious links to sources of flood information
and weather updates, as well as related information on such
things as disaster preparedness and recovery, snow reports,
- During the month of February 1998, California was struck by
a series of storms due in part to the effects of El Niño.
The state suffered over $550 million in damages and 17 storm-related
deaths; 35 counties were declared federal disaster areas.
- The North Dakota State University Extension Service offers
this thorough Web section which provides resources for homeowners
and family members, and discusses how to prepare for flooding
and steps to take after a flood. It includes detailed information
on everything from assessing damaged electrical systems and
appliances to dealing with financial concerns.
- This Web site is a research tool for early detection, mapping,
measurement, and analysis of extreme flood events world-wide
using remote sensing. Also provided is a comprehensive global
register of large river floods. In development are methods for
obtaining globally-consistent measurements of such events and
relating them to climatic phenomena such as El Nino.
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF) research warns that dams built with
the promise of reducing flooding can often exacerbate the problem
with catastrophic consequences, as some recent floods have shown.
"Dams and Floods" shows that dams are often designed
with a very poor knowledge of the potential for extreme flood
events. Where data does exist it may fail to consider current
risks such as increased rainfall due to climate change or increased
run-off of water from land due to deforestation or the drainage
of wetlands. The loss of these natural sponges for floodwaters
within the river basin increases the risk of extreme floods.
WWF argues that many of these problems could be avoided if the
recommendations of the first ever World Commission on Dams (WCD)were
applied to future dam projects.
of CRS Credited Activities During Hurricane Floyd
- Following Hurricane Floyd, FEMA funded a study to evaluate
the effectiveness of a variety of flood mitigation activities
that had been implemented in North Carolina. The results of
that study are now available in the report, "Evaluation of CRS
Credited Activities During Hurricane Floyd."
Damage in the U.S.
Damage in the United States, 1926-2000: A Reanalysis of National
Weather Service Estimates, by Roger A. Pielke, Jr., Mary W.
Downton, and J. Zoe Barnard Miller, is a reanalysis of flood
damage estimates collected by the National Weather Service (NWS)
between 1925 and 2000. The flood damage estimates presented
in this website are compiled from NWS records and publications,
supplemented by reports of other federal and state agencies.
The accompanying report includes an evaluation of the accuracy
of the estimates and recommendations for users of the data.When
properly used, the reanalyzed NWS damage estimates can be a
valuable tool to aid researchers and decision makers in understanding
the changing character of damaging floods in the U.S.
Federal Emergency Management
- FEMA Consumer
Guide to Reducing Flood Risks
- FEMA's "Surviving the Storm: A Guide to Flood Preparedness"
outlines measures individuals and business owners can take
to protect their families, property and communities in the
event of flooding.
- FEMA National Flood
- FEMA operates this program to provide relatively inexpensive
flood disaster protection for communities certified to participate
in the program; more than 3 million policies are in force.
Information on communities participating in the National Flood
Insurance Program can be found at: FEMA
- National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book.
Information about the Community Rating System, which provides
reduced premiums to communities that undertake flood mitigation
activities exceeding NFIP minimum standards, can be found
at: NFIP Community
- Flood Hazard Mapping
- This FEMA site provides an overview of the National Flood
Insurance Program and FEMA's map modernization program.
- Map Service Center's
Online Access to National Flood Insurance Program Products
- This site is just one of a suite of online services planned
to expedite the dissemination of FEMA's flood map and insurance
products that support FEMA, its customers, and the user community.
MSC products include: Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM),
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), Flood Insurance Study reports
(FIS reports), Digital Q3 flood data, Community Status Book,
Flood Map Status Information Service (FMSIS), Letters of Map
Change (LOMCs), and NFIP Insurance Manuals.
Mapping Advisory Council Final Report
- This is the final report of FEMA's Technical Mapping Advisory
Council, encapsulating 5 years of work by a council created
by Congress through the 1994 National Flood Insurance Reform
Act. The following recommendations are deemed by Council consensus
as the most important:
- Acquiring additional financial and technical resources
for map programs;
- Building constituent interest and public support for
modernizing the mapping program using a process that includes
public education and public outreach;
- Building partnerships among various Federal, State,
and local governments, universities, and the private sector
to accomplish NFIP objectives; and
- Creating a fully digital environment for floodplain
mapping and all related information.
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Draft Guidelines and Specifications for Flood Hazard Mapping
- FEMA has recently prepared these Draft Guidelines and Specifications.
It is requesting comments on them from interested parties
by November 9, 2001. The draft Guidelines define the technical
requirements, coordination and documentation activities, and
product specifications for flood hazard maps and related National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) products.
Report of the Flood Emergency Action Team
- In January 1997, Californians suffered severe flooding across
the entire state, resulting in at least $2 billion in damage.
To address the many questions that these floods raised, the
governor of California formed a Flood Emergency Action Team
(FEAT), which held citizen advisory meetings across the state.
Its report describes its efforts, lists the team's final recommendations
to the governor, summarizes the flood event and the emergency
management response to it, lists broad floodplain management
issues for the state, describes possible flood control system
improvements, and examines consequent funding issues.
- In most years, flooding causes more deaths and damage than
any other hydrometeorological phenomena. In many years it
is common for three-quarters of all Federally declared disaster
declarations to be due, at least in part, to flooding. This
site lists flood fatalities and damages since 1903.
- Floodplain Management
- This page provides a general description of the field of
Floods of 1996
- FEMA maintains this site for Internet coverage of the floods
of 1996. It includes preparedness and recovery information,
news releases, etc.
- This listserv has been established for the community dedicated
to reducing injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by
- Never before has so much flooding so humbled America. An
assessment of flooding in the United States in the 1990s.
News Network NFIP Information
- This site provides background information on the National
Flood Insurance Program, including a Frequently Asked Questions
- A great general resource for information on floods -- risks,
causes, frequency, glossary, etc. (from the Floodplain Management
with the Red
- Although the 1997 Red River flood was a rare event, floods
of the same magnitude, or even greater, can be expected to
occur in the Red River basin in the future. The people and
property will remain at undue risk until comprehensive, integrated,
binational solutions are developed and implemented. This is
a report of the International Joint Commission to the governments
of the U.S. and Canada on reducing flood impacts in the Red
- Louisiana Floods
- The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center's Cooperative
Extension Service maintains this Web site which includes sections
on flood conditions, safety and recovery, emergency protection,
and flood damage prevention. It provides numerous downloadable
publications on flood mitigation and floodproofing, including
"Beyond the Basics," which covers flood risk and protection.
Flood of 1993: Weather, Climate, and Societal Impacts
Roger Pielke Jr.
- This is the second case study of the extreme mesoscale events
and impact project. This report has three general objectives:
(1) to review what is known about the U.S. flood problem in
terms of societal vulnerability; (2) to examine the various
processes society has developed to address flood problems;
and (3) to distill lessons from various assessments and retrospective
analyses of the Midwest Floods of 1993.
Success Stories In the United States
- A joint project of the Association of State Floodplain Managers'
Flood Mitigation Committee and the Federal Emergency Management
Agency Mitigation Directorate, 1999, Mitigation Success Stories
in the United States is intended to showcase examples of natural
hazard mitigation activities and to publicize the benefits
of mitigation successes across the U.S. The project's sponsors
hope these examples can serve as models for others to use
and provide decision-makers with valuable information about
how to formulate, undertake and ultimately achieve natural
hazard reduction in our communities.
Weather Service Significant River Flood Outlook
- This map shows flood potential for the contiguous 48 states.
Updated daily, this 5-day outlook provides an entry point
for users seeking more detailed hydrologic information provided
by the NWS's regional River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast
Heavy Rainfall Maps
- A complete resource of 24 hour rainfall maximums by state.
NOAA NESDIS ORA Flash Flood Home Page
- Experimental products for flash flood forecasting
Measures for Water Management Problems Workshop
- Non-structural measures are an attractive alternative and
addition to structural measures that may reduce the loss of
life and property caused by water-related problems. The main
objective of this workshop was to identify the role of non-structural
measures in sustained set of actions that improve society’s
capacity to anticipate, mitigate, withstand and recover from
water-related problems. This site from the UNESCO workshop
includes presentations, list of participants, comments, media
response, and a photo gallery.
River Valley Flood of March 1997
- A National Weather Service evaluation team was sent to the
Ohio River Valley following severe weather events in early
March of 1997 that produced flash flooding and record river
flooding across the region. This Web site offers a downloadable
"Service Assessment" that includes findings and recommendations
from that event. This report is in.pdf format; you will need
to read this file.
available from the Natural Hazards Center at the University
- Strengthening Local Flood Protection Programs. Proceedings
of the Tenth Annual Conference of the Association of State
Floodplain Managers, June 1986. 326 pp.
- What We Have Learned Since the Big Thompson Flood.
Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary Conference, July 1986.
Boulder, CO. 282 pp.
- Partnerships: Effective Flood Hazard Management.
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Association
of State Floodplain Managers, May 1989. Scottsdale, AZ. 315
- Inspiration: Come to the Headwaters. Proceedings
of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Association of State
Floodplain Managers, June 1991. Denver, CO. 400 pp.
- Action Agenda for Managing the Nation's Floodplains.
A Review of Floodplain Management in the United States: An
Assessment Report.1992. 22 pp.
- Cross Training: Light the Torch. Proceedings of the
Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Association of State
Floodplain Managers, March 1993. Atlanta, GA. 250 pp.
- NANIA - "All Together." Proceedings of the Eighteenth
Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers,
May 1994. Tulsa, OK. 472 pp.
- From the Mountains to the Sea - Developing Local Capabilities.
Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Association
of State Floodplain Managers, May 1995. Portland, ME. 490
- Coast to Coast: 20 Years of Progress. Proceedings
of the Twentieth Annual Conference of the Association of State
Floodplain Managers, June 1996. San Diego, CA. 414 pp.
- Floodplain Management in a Multifaceted World. Proceedings
of the Twenty-first Annual Conference of the Association of
State Floodplain Managers, April 1997. Little Rock, ARK. 372
- Times Are Changing: Flood Mitigation Technology.
Proceedings of the Twenty-second Annual Conference of the
Association of State Floodplain Managers, May 1998. Milwaukee,
WI. 478 pp.
- Gruntfest, E. C., ed., 1997. Twenty Years Later: What
We Have Learned Since the Big Thompson Flood Event. 230
- Machalek, J. 1992. A Bibliography of Weather and Climate
Hazards (2nd Edition). Topical Bibliography No. 16, University
of Colorado, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information
Center. 331 pp.
- Moore, J.W. and D.P. Moore 1989. The Army Corp of Engineers
and the Evolution of Federal Flood Plain Management Policy.
- Weiner, J. 1996. The Socioeconomic Aspects of Flooding
in the U.S.: A Topical Bibliography. Topical Bibliography
No. 19, University of Colorado, Natural Hazards Research and
Applications Information Center.
River Flooding Short-Term Measures
- Interim Report of the International Red River Basin Task
Force to the International Joint Commission December, 1997.
River of the North Flood Reports
- Two on-line NWS reports about the Red River of the North
Flood of 1997: Service Assessement and Hydraulic Analysis
(August 1998); Actions Taken Following the Red River of the
North Flood of 1997.
Frontiers: Mainstream flood risk rating and analysis
- Included on this site is a GIS-based model for estimating
mainstream flood risk in urban areas on a per address basis.
Users can determine risk according to zip code for certain cities
Assessment and Strategy Team (SAST)
- SAST was formed to provide scientific advice and assistance
to Federal officials responsible for making decisions with
respect to flood recovery in the Upper Mississippi River and
Missouri River Basins, and to develop and provide information
to support the decision making process regarding both nonstructural
and structural approaches to river basin management.
Floods in the United States During the 20th Century - USGS
Measures a Century of Floods
- During the 20th century, floods were the number one natural
disaster in the United States in terms of the number of lives
lost and property damage. For more than 110 years the U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS) has measured floods for the nation's
benefit while supplying streamflow data with its extensive
stream-gaging network. This report lists, by type of flood,
32 of the most significant 20th century U.S. floods in terms
of number of lives lost and/or property damage. Links for
near-real-time streamflow data and other pertinent flood information
are also provided.
Water Use in Europe - Part 3: Extreme Hydrological Events:
Floods and Droughts
- This report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents
an overview of the main causes and impacts of floods and droughts
in Europe and provides an overview of policy responses to
prevent such disasters or reduce resultant damage. It also
describes some of the major recent disasters in the region
and thus provides a comprehensive survey of flood and drought
hazards in Europe.
Flood Inundation Maps Efficiently
- This Web report details a new geographical information system
(GIS)-based mapping method, developed by the U.S. Geological
Survey, that can be used to produce updated flood inundation
maps with greater detail at a much lower cost than traditional
hand-drawn flood maps.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood
Plain Management Services and Coastal Resources Branch
- U.S. Geological Service (USGS) Floods
Decides? Forecasts and Responsibilities in the 1997 Red River
Roger Pielke Jr.
- In the spring of 1997 the Red River of the North (which
flows north along the border of Minnesota and North Dakota
into Canada) experienced extreme flooding. Catastrophic damages
resulted in Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN with
losses estimated at over $2 billion. Immediately following
the event, local, state, and federal officials began pointing
fingers at flood predictions as a factor leading to the damages.
For several months prior to the flooding the National Weather
Service had predicted a flood crest of 49 feet at East Grand
Forks. The actual flood crest was 54 feet. What role did the
flood predictions play in the disaster? This paper analyzes
the use and misuse of flood forecasts in the flood of 1997
in the Red River of the North.
Winter of '96-'97 West Coast Flooding
- NCDC Technical Report 97-01; NCDC Research Customer Service
Group, January 1997. Please contact NCDC at 704-271-4800 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and data.
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