Water mark studies to lend important lessons on Louisiana flood patterns
By Amy Wold
That straight water mark line running across homes, businesses and even vehicles across south Louisiana from last week’s flood can tell federal planners a lot about the past and future of flood risk management.
Beginning Thursday, U.S. Geological Survey staff members from around the country were in south Louisiana finding, measuring and documenting the water marks for their own use and for information that will feed into a number of functions FEMA performs as well.
In all, about 12 crews of USGS fanned out across south Louisiana east of the Mississippi River looking for where the floodwater left it’s mark. In a day they had collected 60 marks and were expecting to finish by mid week with more than 500 marks before moving west of the Atchafalaya River to flooding in the Calcasieu, Vermilion and Mermentau river basins, said Jaysson Funkhouser, USGS hydrologist.