New tool aids community during flood season

The time of year is coming when the flooding in Midland will start to ramp up due to excessive rain during the spring. It’s caused a lot of Midland County residents trouble, with houses and other property being flooded and/or destroyed. However, there is a new resource being used by the Geographic Information System that is seemingly able to map and show where flooding will occur.

“It’s data that resides in a mapping software called LIDAR which gives us very highly accurate elevation data,” Chris Cantrell, the Midland County GIS Director said. “With the proper software, we can use this data to do modeling to determine where to increase the understanding and where flooding could occur.”

The data provided by LIDAR should make predicting floods easier and give the citizens of Midland a better time trying to avoid them as well.

Jennifer Boyer, the Emergency Management Coordinator of Midland, as well as many others, say that flooding is indeed dangerous and underestimated in its destructive power.

“The Tittabawassee River basin drains into Midland, causing a lot of drainage,” Boyer said. This drainage is what causes the flooding for people of Midland.

One student that has experienced destructive flooding firsthand is senior Devin Tenbarge.

“I mean, it was pretty difficult, and I had to move everything out of my house and leave it, and find somewhere else to stay for a good while,” Tenbarge said.  

To prevent the destruction of any sort of valuables, there are some precautions that people can take to keep their belongings safe or get them replaced if they’re ruined.

Senior Aaron Weldy has also experienced flooding, and after the event happened to him and his family, they took precautionary measures to make sure that flooding wouldn’t affect them on as large of a scale.

“So we upped our insurance from what it was before, even though our insurance did a really good job of covering us for this flood,” Weldy said. “And then we also installed a sump pump in our basement. We didn’t have that before. And that was the main issue which caused the flood in the first place.”

Weldy wants to make sure that residents also look into insurance because it is a help.  

“Make sure you have flood insurance because you can’t, no matter how much you try to prevent for a flood, there’s just some scenarios where it’s going to happen,” Weldy said. “Either way, and you can’t really prevent it and just, during flood season check on your basement occasionally, because if you notice the flood happening early, you can at least move some of the valuable stuff out of your basement and prevent the worst of the damage from happening.”

Flooding can indeed be problematic, so a secondary tool was created, in the form of an interactive map, to be a helpful guide in seeing where the most flooding in Midland will occur.

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Zane O'Dell

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