Leon County, Northwest Florida Water Management District (District) and the National Weather Service
(NWS) staff developed the gauge network to address the urgent need for real-time storm event information. The project provides real-time rainfall data collection to help identify potential flood conditions so that emergency response can be initiated. The network will eventually support stream and groundwater condition gauging to further improve the flood prediction capabilities of local, state, and federal emergency staff. These capabilities are crucial to providing adequate community warning of the potential need for evacuation, as well as identifying possible flooded roads.
The delayed response of many natural creek and sinkhole features requires the ability to access recent historical rainfall in a regional context in order to determine whether flood conditions will develop even days following a storm event. This differential rain data is critical in coordinating the evacuation the elderly and disabled who cannot easily boat in and out of the flooded areas.
Leon County will provide web posting of real-time data in a format readily understood by the general public, while sufficiently detailed for use by emergency managers. Leon County has the existing capability to maintain the network system under disaster conditions, and is continuing to develop a GIS storm response program which we hope to integrate with the web-data. The NWS will also receive data directly, taking advantage of the 24-hour/7-day per week expertise available to monitor the Capital Area. The City of Tallahassee has established a telemetered rain-gage system within the city limits which will be integrated into the warning network, and will continue to be maintained by the City.
The proposed gauges expand the warning coverage to both Jefferson County on the east and Wakulla County to the south. Rainfall patterns affecting these adjacent communities can be identified with the network, and stream flows generated within Leon County frequently affect these neighboring counties.
Click here to see gauge locations and measurements