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Flood forecasting for Newfoundland and Labrador available online

Residents of the town of Badger, located in the central region of Newfoundland and Labrador, are accessing satellite radar imagery used for forecasting floods straight from their computers. This service has been funded by the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), an EU-led initiative in partnership with ESA.

Badger, situated at the confluence of three rivers, has a long history of flooding due to ice build up in the Exploits River the largest of the three. In February 2003, the water level rose 2.3 metres in less than one hour. The flood waters froze, putting parts of the town in ice for weeks.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Minister for the Department of Environment and Conservation Clyde Jackman said: "The flood forecasting service, which uses a computer model to simulate ice conditions on the Exploits River, is crucial for providing advance warning to the residents of Badger and our Emergency Measures Organization.

"Remote sensing is increasingly being used for environmental disaster prevention and management. The GMES programme helps by making remote sensing data available to end users, such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation, who use it to add value to their existing environmental disaster prevention services."

The GMES initiative represents a concerted effort to combine ground- and space-based observations to develop an integrated environmental monitoring capability to benefit citizens.

The flood forecasting service combines satellite radar images, provided by ESA's Envisat and the Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT satellites, weather forecasts and field observations.

Using a computer simulation programme called the 'Ice Progression Model', which inputs data from real-time flows, weather conditions and forecasts, the Water Resources Management Division (WRMD) simulates ice conditions on the Exploits River. When conditions warrant, forecasts or warnin
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
7-Jun-2006


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