Monday, March 15, 2010

Facebook could help fix flooding.

No one wants to wake up to water rushing inside their home. Internet technology could help solve some flooding problems here in the Arklatex. Nbc 6 news reporter Karen Hopkins discovered how Facebook's playing a role to prevent devastating disasters.

Imagine walking home to this, water damage. Susan Thomas is one of many Shreveport homeowners who have dealt with flooding. For years the city, parish, levee board and LSU have researched the problem separately. Now all are coming together, forming the Caddo Parish Stormwater Partnership.
“We're trying to work outside the box.” It starts online. Caddo parish commissioner Matthew Linn says social networking will help the group come up with plan to eliminate flooding for the next century. “Principally the citizens who have suffered from flooding can look at everything we've done and put their two bits in."

Once the Facebook site is ready, anyone can report water troubles. Red River Watershed researchers will compare the data to previous records. “If some homeowner documents minute by minute, hour by hour flooding in their neighborhood, that could provide data not available without their help." Red River Watershed assistant, Amanda Lewis says.

After all information is organized, engineering students will find ways to fix flooding in Caddo parish.
Linn says the University of Iowa designs solutions for the entire Mississippi flood plain. The planning is a senior project, at no cost to taxpayers. “If they're qualified to do the Mississippi flood basin, they're qualified to do bayou Pierre. Those are the people we'll be looking for to help us with these issues," Linn says.

Help means a lot to people like Thomas. She's dealt with two floods in two years.

The plan is gaining speed. The levee board has already endorsed it, the Caddo commission will vote on Thursday. The Facebook page could launch within a month.

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