Consider Using a Web-Based Mapping Tool to Improve Stakeholders’ Real-Time and Forecasted Flood Inundation Depths Along Roads, Bridges, and Other Transportation Assets.

Lessons Learned from the pilot roll out of a real-time flood warning system during the 2019 Hurricane Season.

Date Posted

Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network for Transportation (FIMAN): Quick Guide

Summary Information

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and NC Emergency Management partnered to develop the real-time flood warning system known as FIMAN-T (Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network for Transportation). FIMAN-T leverages real time, 3D inundation mapping coupled with LIDAR-derived roadway elevation layers to compute flooding depths over roadways for both current and forecasted conditions. 

The goals of the FIMAN-T project are to:

  • Provide visualization and metrics for roadway inundation, bridge hydraulic performance, and identify potentially impacted NCDOT assets
  • Enhance NCDOT’s responsiveness during flooding events
  • Generate data and reports for use in disaster response and planning

Lessons Learned

The tool uses a mapping feature combined with a dashboard for each gage on the map. The following lessons learned can be applied from NCDOT’s experience with the tool:

  • In addition to using real time mapping, consider developing an interactive dashboard allowing users to navigate between current conditions, modeled scenarios, and forecasted conditions where available. 
  • Develop “info-widgets” that provide detailed information including Stream Elevation, an interactive stage hydrograph, and Forecasted Peak.
  • Provide additional views such as the Road Affected widget so users can view a summary table of all impacted roads within the inundation extent of the selected gage, or a sortable and filterable table showing all impacted roadway segments. 
  • Leverage existing asset databases such as the DOT’s bridge database to provide real time bridge hydraulic performance dashboards during flooding events. This can enable the system to report critical emergency response information such as bridge freeboard (the distance between the water surface and the bridge’s low chord elevation) with the option to export this information to a PDF report.

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