NORFOLK, VA – Soon, Norfolk residents will have an easier way to understand their property’s flood risk. On March 2, George Homewood, Director of Planning, announced the upcoming release of the Flood Risk Learning Center, co-developed by Civis Analytics and the city’s floodplain staff. This new, interactive website will be released at the start of Virginia’s Flood Awareness Week (March 14-20) as an additional tool for Norfolk residents to better visualize and understand their property’s flood risk.
The challenge the city previously faced with outreach is that flood risk is usually presented horizontally – floodplains mapped across a landscape with a pinpoint showing the location of a property. However, flood risk drastically varies vertically based on flood depths and is unique for each property based on ground elevation and the location of a structure’s first floor. The Flood Risk Learning Center is intuitive, easy to use, and informational presenting personalized flood risk vertically depicted on a photo of the resident’s home, rather than horizontally across a map.
The Flood Risk Learning Center is integrated with property-specific data, including photo depictions of the true flood depth for nearly all 56,754 single-family, duplex and triplex homes in the city. A resident will be able to search for a specific address and see potential flood levels pictorially on that property. Each property receives customized interpretations of flood risk and steps both homeowners and renters can take to mitigate flood impacts or lower their insurance premiums.
Civis Analytics was selected for Norfolk’s Startup in Residence Resilience Challenge 5: Improved Resident Decision-making Around Flooding. Conclusion of the 16-week residency in late Spring 2019 culminated in this new approach to display true flood risk visualizations in a way that is personalized and consumable for the general public.