On July 23rd, 2011, the Chicago, IL metropolitan area was hit by a storm
system that resulted in extensive damage across numerous communities.
As a community that received heavy flooding damage and experienced
utility management issues due to the intensity of the storm, the Village
of Winnetka needed to track where flooding was being reported and the
nature of each report to help get a village-wide view of the total
damage. To assist with this effort, the village Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) department was asked to store and manage the flooding
location data and develop a series of maps showing different aspects of
the damage accounts as needed for reporting and analysis.
primary sources used to develop the damage assessment database were
field checks by village staff and damage claims submitted to Cook County
by the residents. Using these sources, an extensive list of flooding
locations, and the nature of each flooding event, was compiled and made
available for mapping. Some of the products generated from the data
were a basic map showing flooded properties, a map showing properties
with debris piles stacked on the curb, and a map showing the extent of
the flooding in one of the hardest hit areas of the village.
storing and managing this information in GIS, the village now has the
ability to develop powerful visual tools for examining the impacts of
the storm, assisting with the development of future mitigation
strategies, and providing the village council with evidence of how
extensive the damage was in an easy-to-understand format.