U.S. Geological Survey crews are in the field around Wilmington, gathering information to document the depth and extent of flooding brought by Hurricane Florence’s rains and storm surge.
WHQR's Vince Winkel caught up with a crew as they were planning where to go next.
Jym Chapman and Cortney Crites are at a Waffle House parking lot on Market Street, planning which areas in the Cape Fear region to visit.
The two USGS staffers are collecting data that will be used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to steer relief efforts in the future.
“We actually will take the mark of how high the water got and then we'll come back in and survey in those markets and get an elevation which is above mean sea level. And then we can use that information, pass it on to federal, local than state operators who then use that information to determine the likely in the flooding.”
Chapman adds that the survey results are also used by local leaders, in planning and zoning decisions down the road.
“That is the idea that communities will take that information and go forward with some planning. You know, maybe some rezoning and stuff like that. Help the community so they're not as impacted in the future. But you know, they can use this information right now to say, ‘well if it's going to rain this much in the future, we know this area is going to flood, and we need to get these people out.’”
The USGS crews will be in the Wilmington area for at least another week, into October.