The Geographic Information Services Department (GIS) played a crucial role in Linn County’s efforts to battle the rising water from the September 2016 flood and help residents in need.
The GIS Team began by creating a predictive flood map that helped illustrate areas that could be impacted. Using this map, GIS employees were able to help other county departments prepare for the rising water in a variety of ways while supporting the Emergency Management Agency.
Several examples include:
• Identified citizens with special needs to help with transportation logistics for evacuations and reentry based upon various flood height elevations
• Assisted the Health Department with identifying potential impacted food establishments
• Worked with Secondary Roads by showing roads being closed as they were becoming impassible
• Effectively hosted and shared informative map layers with the City of Cedar Rapids GIS services team that in turn supported both Emergency Operations Centers. Such features included road closures, evacuation zones, flood barriers, etc.
After the water receded, GIS continued to play an important role in the county's flood recovery efforts.
GIS employees helped the Public Health Department identify flood-impacted private wells and septic systems for post-flood inspections. They assisted the county’s Planning & Development Department by providing a new disaster assessment tool to inspect buildings before re-entry. And using a previously-developed application, they helped the Secondary Road Department identify road infrastructure in need of repair.