Mapping flood behavior online

MASON CITY, Iowa – With more rain on the way, a new online tool will now help in finding the most flood-prone areas.

The National Weather Service is collaborating with the Iowa Flood Center to create a series of interactive maps to help the public better visualize flood potential in rivers such as the Winnebago river.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States and according to local officials, this tool is to help the public take precautions prior to any disasters.

“It has to be looked at not only as a tool up here in Cerro Gordo and Mason city, it’s also a thing that’s going to help us make predictions and help downstream. So everybody ahead of us can give us information that benefits us, we add more information and pass it on,” said Steve O’Neil, Cerro Gordo County Emergency Manager.

The maps have been in development since 2009 and will demonstrate the extent of the flooded landscape with every twelve-inch rise in the flood level.

“They’ll be able to get online and actually get the conditions and see what the predictions are and that’s one of the most important parts of the tool. Get the information directly into the hands of the public so that they can make these decisions as to maybe I should be moving out of the area right now,” said O’Neil.

You can click on the link below to head to the site:

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/inundation/inundation_google.php?gage=mcwi4

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