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Flood-inundation maps for the St. Marys River at Fort Wayne, Indiana

June 22, 2012

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 9-mile reach of the St. Marys River that extends from South Anthony Boulevard to Main Street at Fort Wayne, Indiana, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the City of Fort Wayne. The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site, depict estimates of the areal extent of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage 04182000 St. Marys River near Fort Wayne, Ind. Current conditions at the USGS streamgages in Indiana may be obtained from the National Water Information System: Web Interface. In addition, the information has been provided to the National Weather Service (NWS) for incorporation into their Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) flood warning system. The NWS forecasts flood hydrographs at many places that are often collocated at USGS streamgages. That forecasted peak-stage information, also available on the Internet, may be used in conjunction with the maps developed in this study to show predicted areas of flood inundation. In this study, water-surface profiles were simulated for the stream reach by means of a hydraulic one-dimensional step-backwater model. The model was calibrated using the most current stage-discharge relation at the USGS streamgage 04182000 St. Marys River near Fort Wayne, Ind. The hydraulic model was then used to simulate 11 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-ft intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from bankfull to approximately the highest recorded water level at the streamgage. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model (derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data) in order to delineate the area flooded at each water level. A flood inundation map was generated for each water-surface profile stage (11 maps in all) so that for any given flood stage users will be able to view the estimated area of inundation. The availability of these maps along with current stage from USGS streamgages and forecasted stream stages from the NWS provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities such as evacuations and road closures as well as for post flood recovery efforts.

Publication Year 2012
Title Flood-inundation maps for the St. Marys River at Fort Wayne, Indiana
DOI 10.3133/sim3205
Authors Chad D. Menke, Moon H. Kim, Kathleen K. Fowler
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3205
Index ID sim3205
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Indiana Water Science Center