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 Geospatial Solutions
M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD
M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD
Dr. Tighe has a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, a graduate degree in Remote Sensing and GIS, and a B.Sc. in Physics and Geology. Dr. Tighe has delivered lectures ranging from a half day workshop to a 4 week training program to over 2000 participants in USA, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, … More »

Flooding in Colorado – Assessing Risk as an individual can be challenging!

September 17th, 2013 by M. Lorraine Tighe, PhD

Colorado is a semi-arid state, which typically indicates a climatic region that receives precipitation below potential evapo-transpiration, but not extremely. The climate is typically associated with dry winters, wetter springs and summer, highly changeable weather, frequent wind, and the occasional monstrous thunderstorms with damaging hail. Yet, we Coloradans are experiencing catastrophic flood events where, folks on ridges are not free from the reaches of water flowing downhill, from the sky, or from the saturated water table from below. Where has sunny Colorado gone this past week?

14 couColorado Floodnties along the Front Range in Colorado (see map) have been identified as a disaster emergency zone due to flooding that has occurred over the past week. Many of the rivers in these counties cannot handle the water levels forcing spillage over banks onto lawns creating water saturated regions of unstable land. As a precaution, home and building owners are required to obtain flood insurance in the United States if their property is located in a 100 year flood zone as shown on a DFIRM (digital flood insurance rate map). Or, what if, according to a DFIRM, you are in a 100 year flood zone and obliged to buy insurance, but in reality your chances of a flood are much less?  How do you know whether to apply for an exception from the requirement?

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk is not based on just historical data; it’s also based on a number of other factors such as rainfall, soil type, terrain slope, land cover type, and hydrological analysis that can ingest these factors. How can we protect our investments and better yet, provide us with knowledge of regions subjected to potential flood disaster.

Colorado flood map

At Intermap® we recognize the need for consumers to access such information and are creating the tools needed to easily gain accurate flood risk assessment with our RiskPro™application. RiskPro is based on NEXTMap® digital terrain models (DTMs) with a 5 m ground sampling distance proving national scale data for accurate flood mapping. Do you have alternatives to gaining additional insight about the risk of flood for your home?

Category: Geospatial Application

One Response to “Flooding in Colorado – Assessing Risk as an individual can be challenging!”

  1. Rob Pitts says:

    Hi there,
    The U.S. Census has developed a public web-based mapping tool OntheMap for Emergency Management for accessing U.S. population and workforce statistics, in real time, for areas being affected by natural disasters. Users can now easily retrieve reports containing detailed workforce, population, and housing characteristics for hurricanes, floods, wildfires, winter storms, and federal disaster declaration areas. The tool can be accessed at:

    I wanted to bring this tool to your attention in the event it may be useful for your research or activities related to the recent flooding or other disaster analysis.

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