A new French flash flood warning service
1 SCHAPI, Ministry of Environnement, Energy and Sea, 42 avenue Gaspar Coriolis, 31057 TOULOUSE Cédex 1, France
2 Irstea, RECOVER, CS 40061, 13182 Aix-en-Provence Cedex5, France
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The French State services in charge of flood forecasting supervise about 22,000 km among the 120,000 km of the French rivers within a warning procedure called Vigilance Crues (http://www.vigicrues.gouv.fr). Some recent dramatic flood events on small watershed not covered by Vigilance Crues highlight the need for a new warning procedure to anticipate violent flash floods that regularly affect rapid river-basins. Thus the concept emerged of an automatic warning service specifically dedicated to local crisis managers. This service will be less elaborated than Vigilance Crues, probably with false alarms and missed events sometimes, but it will deliver a first information. The generation of the warning is based on a simple rainfall-runoff hydrological model developed by Irstea on all French rivers, fed with radar-gauge rainfall grids provided by Meteo-France. Every fifteen minutes, the hydrological model estimates the discharges on the rivers eligible to the service and determine if certain thresholds corresponding to a high or very high flood are likely to be exceeded. The last step of the real-time system is to determine which municipalities are concerned with flood risk and send them an automatic warning by voice call, optionally by sms or email. A specific web interface is available for users to monitor the evolution of the flood risk on maps that are updated every 15 minutes. This new flash flood warning service will be operational early 2017 as a free service for about 8,000 French municipalities.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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