Stories From The Field

Communicating Coastal Flooding Risks around the Great Lakes

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Issue

Green Bay, Wisconsin, residents are quite familiar with the flood risks associated with being a homeowner along Lake Michigan, but most lack the resources necessary to determine their home’s proximity to potentially damaging floodwaters. Many homes have been built at unsafe distances from the shoreline, leaving residents susceptible to costly property damage from strong coastal storms.

Process

Managers within the community sought effective ways to communicate the risk of flooding from coastal storms with local residents. Brown County staff members worked with personnel from the Association of State Floodplain Managers to gather photos of two residential properties that were considered vulnerable to coastal flooding. The project team used the CanVis tool to create photorealistic visualizations of potential flooding and the impacts it would have on shore-abutting residences. Visualizations will be shared with residents to raise awareness of possible flooding scenarios caused by strong coastal storms.

Impact

CanVis flood visualizations have given county staff members a go-to resource that can be shared with new or current residents inquiring about coastal flooding in Green Bay. From these visualizations, shoreline property owners will gain critical insight on how to protect themselves both physically and financially from coastal flooding hazards. Through the process, Brown County staff members gained valuable resources needed to communicate flood risks and encourage residents to make informed decisions about shoreline property. In the long term, these visualizations may encourage coastal resilience planning.

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