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Grand Prairie Flood Warning Phase 1

Innovating for emergency preparedness

Project Facts

Location Grand Prairie, Texas
Owner City of Grand Prairie
Status Completed 2020


The City of Grand Prairie asked our team to develop a system for advance warning and notification of flooding conditions that would allow them to mobilize emergency operations and first responders as soon as possible to minimize losses and save lives. Departing from traditional modeling approaches, our innovative solution focused on real-time rainfall data collection and introduced a groundbreaking moving storm analysis method. This not only provided the city with invaluable inundation maps for effective planning but also delivered the solution within budget, surpassing expectations with its cost-effectiveness.

About the project

Our hydrologic specialists teamed with the University of Texas at Arlington’s rainfall forecasting and storm modeling experts to build a flood warning/forecast system based on relationships between real-time rainfall, rainfall intensity, and estimated high water levels.

The system features an online dashboard with color-coded markers at various watch points to indicate the risk of roadway flooding based on real-time rainfall data. It shows projected/forecasted flood inundation extents, along with lead times before the roadways will go underwater. This positions first responders to activate high water flashing signs and road closure gates, evacuate residents, prepare citizens for shelter-in-place actions, and begin rescue operations. We also evaluated the City’s existing data collection and record-keeping processes and made suggestions for improvement. The City has continued to improve rainfall data collection and uses data output from this system to validate the results of floodplain models.

This innovative concept did not use modeling but rather developed simple approaches to collect rainfall data. This moving storm analysis is a new method for determining critical flooding locations in the watershed. The City now has a series of inundation maps to use for planning purposes.

The program was completed within the allocated budget and gave the City a solution that was much less costly than they had expected.