Fifty-year flood-inundation maps for Olanchito, Honduras

Open-File Report 2002-257

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After the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, maps of the areas and depths of the 50-year-flood inundation at 15 municipalities in Honduras were prepared as a tool for agencies involved in reconstruction and planning. This report, which is one in a series of 15, presents maps of areas in the municipality of Olanchito that would be inundated by a 50-year-flood of Rio Uchapa. Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages of the flood inundation are available on a computer in the municipality of Olanchito as part of the Municipal GIS project and on the Internet at the Flood Hazard Mapping Web page ( These coverages allow users to view the flood inundation in much more detail than is possible using the maps in this report. Water-surface elevations for a 50-year-flood discharge of 243 cubic meters per second on Rio Uchapa at Olanchito were estimated using HEC-RAS, a one-dimensional, steady-flow, step-backwater computer program. The channel and floodplain cross sections used in HEC-RAS were developed from an airborne light-detection-and-ranging (LIDAR) topographic survey of the area. There are no nearby long-term stream-gaging stations on Rio Uchapa; therefore, the 50-year-flood discharge for Rio Uchapa was estimated using a regression equation that relates the 50-year-flood discharge to drainage area and mean annual precipitation. The drainage area and mean annual precipitation estimated for Rio Uchapa at Olanchito are 97.1 square kilometers and 1,178 millimeters, respectively.

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Fifty-year flood-inundation maps for Olanchito, Honduras
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Open-File Report
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9 p.