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Realtime flood data integrated with WAZE now live in Norfolk

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:29 am
by MrNicGuy
From: Bruce Eady, FLOOD HYDROLOGY DEVELOPER, FloodMappThis past week marked the resounding success of an important project milestone in our efforts to provide real time flood data for the residents in the Hampton Roads area. In a world first, FloodMapp has now successfully integrated our live flood mapping technology with Waze to provide live traffic routing for residents. The recent king tide in Hampton Roads caused several roads in the area to be flooded. Users on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have captured many roads that have flooded as a result of these higher than ‘normal’ tidal events. As part of the RISE Urban Mobility Project in collaboration with the City of Norfolk, these high tide events have been a perfect opportunity for us to test our solution. Photos taken by RISE (thanks to Paul Robinson and Betsy Hnath) have been an invaluable source of validation material, enabling us to verify our model outputs. Below are a few ‘observed vs. simulated’ examples from the king tides (see Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3) with some notes about the photos and corresponding images:
  • The light and dark shades of blue correspond to shallow and deep water respectively.
  • The orange and red roads indicate 'hazards' (< 1 foot) and 'closures' (> 1 foot) respectively
  • The depth classifications are used to determine the flooded road class
  • Each of these colour-coded road segment indicates a flooded road, used to show as hazards in Waze
  • The tip of the yellow arrow in each image indicates approximate location of the corresponding photo; the direction of the arrow indicates the rough facing direction from the photos
  • Some simulated images have been rotated to easily orientate with the photos ... Zz0eUsw=s0 ... Ed5SI-1=s0

Figure 1: Observed (left) versus simulated (right) flooding on Llewellyn Avenue - October 7th 2021 (noon EDT). ... 7Kw4knE=s0 ... YIS8uYt=s0
Figure 2: Observed (left) versus simulated (right) flooding on Richmond Crescent - October 7th 2021 (noon EDT). ... FSLtgOB=s0 ... TvWbyGA=s0
Figure 3: Observed (left), with confirmed flood hazard icon shown within Waze, versus simulated (right) flooding on Memorial Place - October 11th 2021 (noon EDT).

We confirmed that we have successfully integrated FloodMapp’s NowCast and Roadsafe products into the Waze app (as seen in Figure 3)! Paul Robinson (RISE) and Kyle Spencer (City of Norfolk) drove around Norfolk on Monday October 11th (between noon and 1pm EDT) to test out the functionality. Flood hazard reports via the City of Norfolk Waze for Cities portal automatically appeared within the mobile app. An example is shown below (Figure 4), along with the corresponding simulated flood depth and flood affected roads at the corresponding time to when the Waze screen grab was taken. ... L1KY8mC=s0 ... dPvNLy6=s0
Figure 4: Comparison of the flooded roads affected by the tidal flooding and the end view that Waze users see on their mobile phones - October 11th 2021 (just after noon EDT; yellow arrow indicates driver location on Hampton Blvd from corresponding screenshot).The next few weeks will involve ongoing model validation and verification. Additionally, we will continue ongoing pluvial model improvements to predict flash flooding, which relies on forecast rainfall to determine when and where this may occur.This has been a huge project milestone, and fantastic achievement for all involved. However we still believe there are still many more applications for this type of disaster intelligence. We would like to thank RISE Resilience, the City of Norfolk and the City of Virginia Beach for their ongoing support of this project to improve resilience for residents.