Hurricane Odile, AZ Flooding September 2014, USGS at Work

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Detailed Description

This video shows the flooding that occurred in Arizona from the remnants of Hurricane Odile, while explaining the different techniques for high flow measurements.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:45

Location Taken: Tucson, AZ, US


The remnants of Hurricane Odile brought significant
rainfall to the Southwest on September 17th

through the 20th.

Southeastern Arizona received the most widespread
rainfall from the storm, with over three inches

of rain in Sierra Vista, Bisbee and the Douglas

The highest discharge measurement ever conducted
at the route 92 bridge near Palominas was

made during this event.

It was about 18,000 cubic feet per second
with the flood peak being over 16 feet deep.

Technicians are using a bridge crane to measure
the water depth using a 100 pound sounding

weight, and velocity is measured with a (double)
AA current meter.

It is very important to be aware of debris
moving downstream during high flow discharge


Debris, including large trees, can get hung-up
on the equipment being lowered into the water

column while measuring.

This can be a very hazardous situation for
field crew and the people on the bridge, and

this is one of the largest of many challenges
faced when taking a high flow measurement.

High flow measurements were also conducted
using an automatic cableway system.

Here the 100 pound sounding weight and the
(double) AA current meter are lowered into

the water column from the un-manned cableway.

This keeps field personnel safe, while providing
the ability to measure all ranges of flows

at the gaging station.

The crane moves out over the river, measures
the width and the depth of the water; this

data is then displayed back to shore on the
handheld controller.

This will provide invaluable data to managers;
so that the necessary flood warnings and road

and bridge closures can be administered to
help keep people who are downstream safe.