GIS Assists in Locating Flood Damaged Properties


The April 18th flood of this year wreaked havoc all around the
Midwest. Park Ridge residences were among those whose basements and
properties took a beating from the floodwaters. Residents were asked to
fill out an online survey to assess their individual flood damage. The
results of these surveys would be then passed on to the city and to
FEMA. The Department of Public Works is very interested in seeing if
there are any patterns of flooding from this ​current flood or a 2011
flood that also had an online survey available for residents to fill
out. GIS was chosen as the best method to quickly visualize any
potential patterns that may exist.

Address lists were provided to GIS from the surveys of both flooding
events. Each year was initially mapped individually and then compared
against each other. A map was subsequently created showing the locations
of properties damaged in both 2011 and 2013. Areas that have been
damaged by both flooding events will be studied more closely to see if
there are any improvements the city could make that would alleviate
future flooding. Without GIS, the thousands of addresses damaged by the
two floods would have to be manually located and drawn in on a map which
would take countless man hours as well as increase the probability of
error in the address locations.