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An intensity scale for riverine flooding

January 1, 2004

Recent advances in the availability and accuracy of multi-dimensional flow models, the advent of precise elevation data for floodplains (LIDAR), and geographical GIS allow the creation of hazard maps that more correctly reflect the varying levels of flood-damage risk across a floodplain when inundatecby floodwaters. Using intensity scales for wind damages, an equivalent water-damage flow intensity scale has been developed that ranges from 1 (minimal effects) to 10 (major damages to most structures). This flow intensity scale, FIS, is portrayed on a map as color-coded areas of increasing flow intensity. This should prove to be a valuable tool to assess relative risk to people and property in known flood-hazard areas.