Flood Forecast Inudation Mapping with NWS and USGS
The Kansas team is completing three community's inundation maps, in Ottawa, Salina, and Humboldt in late 2023. These will be hosted by NWS on the National Water Prediction Service website. The website replaces the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Links to current community sites are listed below in a previous Team Activity.
Soils Versus Structures
The main project for 2023 for the Kansas Silver Jackets work involves looking at watersheds differently. This new project provides a cost effective analysis that compares land use practices for soil health management systems (NRCS) with small dams, specifically the costs associated with each. The project may help to guide the plans used by watershed districts in the future.
On July 20, 2022, Brian Rast, Lead Silver Jackets Coordinator for Kansas, and Eric Lynn, Flood Risk Manager in Kansas City District, held a training session in cooperation with the KDA Division of Water Resources in Garnett, KS. Several community floodplain managers learned about nonstructural measures, including how to analyze and evaluate residential homes with various flood mitigation approaches. Attendees received training credits for maintaining their Certified Floodplain Manager certifications.
Mitigation Objects of Interest
The second action in the state’s all-hazard strategy (2018 Kansas Hazard Mitigation Plan) is about repetitive losses due to flooding. Priority Repetitive Loss Areas are a shared concern of USACE and FEMA, and the areas are a subject in FEMA NFIP Community Rating System, Activity 503 and 512. This interagency nonstructural project reflects on how repetitive loss properties inform and improve flood mitigation efforts. The project also considers the areas and where disadvantaged communities are. Two of the areas can get a benefit-cost analysis, which could be used to support a FEMA mitigation grant.
Kansas Healthy Watersheds
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment collaborated on their first project with the Kansas Silver Jackets team. The project evaluated the benefit of watershed-wide land use incentives that support the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service soil health management systems. These are practices like no-tillage farming, cover crops, perennial plants, and mob grazing. The result is a healthier soil that is like a sponge for absorbing rainfall. This flyer helps in understanding. The team used a hydrologic model and showed how well the flood flows can be reduced in the technical report. The effort also looks at Atlas-14 rainfall factors that can raise awareness of flood risks and how to adapt for climate change. The Kansas team will begin another project in this field of watershed planning in October 2022. For more information, you can visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Kansas Wraps website. The August national Silver Jackets webinar featured three presenters representing the project and will be available here.
Risk Outreach & Communication in Kansas (ROCK)
- One of the interagency team projects, called the Risk Outreach & Communication in KS (ROCK) project, has implemented several forms of communication between 2020-2022. Most of these were signs. In addition, the team developed a script and a video that raises the awareness of communities and individuals for becoming more resilient by diversifying their set of flood risk management measures. Click the image below to go to the YouTube video.
- The team developed four signs for levee sponsors and leveed communities to choose from in communicating the benefits of their levee and how to sustain it. The Topeka, KS levee sponsor received four signs on March 7, 2022, the first day of Flood Safety Awareness Week (see photo below).
- Flood awareness achieved through signs and other tools are part of the new ROCK project. USACE Kanas City District has teamed up with KDA Division of Water Resources and NOAA National Weather Service and produced Turn Around Don't Drown signs (supporting NOAA NWS program). Learn more about dangerous low water crossings on roads and steps to take to be safe here.
Flood Safety Awareness Week
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly proclaims March 7-11, 2022 as Flood Safety Awareness Week..
Kansas Flood Forecast Inundation Maps (FFIM)
Revised flood forecast inundation maps (FFIM) for the Missouri River downstream from west Kansas City to Leavenworth, KS combine the National Weather Service’s forecast stages with levee heights. The inundation mapping combines inundation map books with forecasting and flood warning, and are offered as a way besides flood insurance rate maps to convey flood risk areas. The Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team requested the assistance of federal Silver Jackets partners to develop FFIM for several communities in Kansas.
Kansas and Missouri Teams Receive Innovation Connection Award
The Federal Executive Board in Kansas City recognized the Silver Jackets projects that provide multiple flood forecast inundation maps with a trophy on August 8, 2017. The recognition was made on account of the innovative partnering combining the technical services of the NWS, USACE, and USGS with the state hazard mitigation teams.
Third Place Innovation Connection Trophy Awarded to Kansas & Missouri Silver Jackets Teams:
On August 21, 2012, peer state hazard mitigation programs selected the KHMT as the 2011 State Silver Jackets Team of the Year.