Calculation model that VITO has helped to develop, offers emergency services information that is needed to better anticipate on possible flooding scenarios.
To be able to predict hours before when a municipal area, like Antwerp, threatens to be flooded. That has been a dream for a long time, but thanks to the project ‘proactive flooding prediction’ the emergency services can now predict in advance when and where there will be flooding up to street level. This project is a cooperation between VITO, imec City of Things, Hydroscan, Brandweer Zone Antwerpen (BZA) and Water Link.
Flooding becomes more and more challenging for the emergency services. It would be a big help if storms and their impact could be predicted more accurately. The Flood4Cast, a calculation model that VITO has helped to develop, offers the emergency services useful information so they can better anticipate on possible flooding scenarios. By doing so, the means can be used more efficiently and the damages from flooding can be avoided or at least be reduced. The model uses among other things real time radar images to analyse rain clouds, completed with real time data from pluviometers and water level sensors. The sewers are mapped and sensors in the sewers measure in real time how much water can easily flow away through the sewers.
In a first phase, the model was built for a test area for the Antwerp municipalities Ekeren/Merksem. The water nuisance and the flooding that these municipalities had to face in the past, made this area an ideal test area. Very heavy rain showers that distressed these municipalities in June 2019 were very well predicted thanks to Flood4Cast.
In this project, VITO and the engineering company Hydroscan were responsible for the hydrologic expertise, this included the set-up of the calculation instrument, data interpretation with the addition of a limited sensor measurement network (precipitation and water levels) and advice was given about the way the results can be visualized.