The Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department (TNECD), in partnership with leading global design and engineering firm Stantec, has integrated a new decision-support technology to strengthen its resiliency efforts against flooding statewide. Flood Predictor, a proprietary product developed by Stantec, is a machine learning flood-risk technology that provides Tennessee communities high-quality flood predictions to support disaster planning and hazard mitigation.
Flood Predictor is a Stantec.io digital product that delivers rapid probabilistic flood predictions. These predictions are based on data derived from machine learning informed by more than 30,000 hours of engineered flood modeling. As a result, Flood Predictor’s gives state and local officials the ability to efficiently analyze regional flood risks in near real time without the need for complex hydrology and hydraulic modeling, which often can take months to deliver.
With these advanced insights, officials can better inform the public which areas are at the highest risk and which routes are the safest to travel ahead of an extreme storm event.
“With Flood Predictor, we’re combining the latest in machine-learning technology trained with traditional modeling and engineering studies to put actionable, reliable information into the hands of decision makers faster than ever,” said Jeff Albee, vice president and director of digital solutions at Stantec. “This system will help Tennessee officials achieve up to 95 percent hydrology and hydraulics model correlation. This means leaders will have the best understanding of when and where a flooding event is likely to happen based on the latest data and statistical simulations.”
TNECD will integrate Flood Predictor into its TNPlan web portal—an online repository of resilience data that gives government leaders and emergency management officials quick and efficient access to insights when future disasters strike. Funded by a U.S. Housing and Urban Development National Disaster Resilience Competition Grant, TNPlan and Flood Predictor will help address the unmet needs of communities statewide that arose from previous disasters.
“In the wake of extreme weather events, and the increasing frequency, Tennesseans have experienced intense floods that caused severe destruction and led to the tragic loss of lives,” said Kent Archer, Director of Community Infrastructure, Community and Rural development for TNECD. “By implementing this new technology, we’re giving disaster experts and community leaders across the state access to information that will allow our communities to better prepare for these types of events and help save lives.”
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