Digital flood-inundation maps for a 4.0-mile reach of the Iroquois River at Rensselaer, Indiana (Ind.), were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Transportation. The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at USGS streamgage 05522500, Iroquois River at Rensselaer, Ind. Current conditions for estimating near-real-time areas of inundation using USGS streamgage information may be obtained on the Internet at (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv?site_no=05522500). In addition, the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts flood hydrographs at the Rensselaer streamgage. That forecasted peak-stage information, also available on the Internet (http://water.weather.gov/ahps/), may be used in conjunction with the maps developed in this study to show predicted areas of flood inundation.
For this study, flood profiles were computed for the Iroquois River reach by means of a one-dimensional step-backwater model developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hydraulic model was calibrated by using the most current (June 27, 2012) stage-discharge relations at USGS streamgage 05522500, Iroquois River at Rensselaer, Ind., and high-water marks from the flood of July 2003. The calibrated hydraulic model was then used to determine nine water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from bankfull to the highest stage of the current stage-discharge rating curve. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a Geographic Information System digital elevation model (derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data) in order to delineate the area flooded at each water level.
The availability of these maps, along with Internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage at Rensselaer, Ind., and forecasted stream stages from the NWS, provides emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.