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Improving the Reliability of Flood Warnings using satellite Imagery
C-CORE + Department of Environment and Conservation Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Each year, the formation and break up of river-ice around the world can cause extensive damage due to flooding. In the town of Badger, situated in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, in 2003, the ice-built up to such an extent that severe flooding caused many millions $ damage to homes and property. Since then, the use of satellite radar imagery (Radarsat 1& 2, Envisat and in future Sentinel 1) has led to improved monitoring of the ice build-up and consequently flood warnings are improved allowing citizens to move and protect their property. The success in Badger has led to this technique being used for other rivers in Canada, USA and in Russia. Furthermore, the products developed to support the improved flood warnings are now also used by emergency services for planning of responses, by the operators of hydro-electric projects to improve resource management and by engineers for design work. As a further benefit, the sustained observations are available to look at longer term effects and particularly the impact of climate change as well as being available for research and development into flood relief and other local planning schemes. The Water Resources Management Division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of the Environment and Conservation is the provincial authority responsible for providing flood warnings based on the information derived from the satellite data and their model. They also make the ice products available for use by others.
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