Screenshot 2014-12-05 12.18.07The interactive map tool depicts the landward extent of flooding (how far floodwaters would travel in a horizontal direction) — and how deep the water could become — in the event of a one percent annual chance (or 100-year) flood. In areas with the greatest risk of flooding, known as Special Flood Hazard Areas, a building has a 26 percent chance of being flooded over the course of a 30-year mortgage.

A slider lets viewers click and drag a flood-depth map over the area expected to flood during a 100-year flood as designated by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Where high water data is available, the maps depict actual flooding levels for designated storms including Hurricane Sandy and a 1998 nor’easter.

“The maps can help residents, property owners and community decision-makers visualize the potential depth and extent of flood impacts, providing an improved understanding of damage possible from a significant flood or storm in their area,” said Wendy Carey, a coastal hazards and resiliency specialist with Delaware Sea Grant, which is housed in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

“It’s important to know whether a flood event is expected to bring 2 inches or 2 feet of water to a specific property or neighborhood, and how that might affect evacuation routes.”

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