GIS Database Could Lead to Better Flood Warning

…from The Roanoke Times

“This year, rain has brought flooded yards, washed-out roads and mudslides to the New River Valley.

“Anthony Phillips, a rising senior at Virginia Tech, is working on a project to better predict some of those problems.

“The 22-year-old has spent the summer driving around his native Pulaski County in a car filled with laptops, maps, data sheets and GIS systems and collecting data on some 300 streams in the county and how close they are to roads.

“Phillips plans to compile that data — along with photos taken by his fiancee, Sarah Prescott — into a searchable database for the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.

“That database, along with other data such as the soil type and vegetation of an area, could one day allow forecasters to predict flooding on a certain roadway 30 to 60 minutes before it happens, said Steve Keighton, science officer for the weather service.”