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New Real-Time Data Helps Gauge Streams

Now there's an easy way to see if City of Grand Prairie roads are open and if streams are flooding during a rain event.
Post Date:02/22/2019 9:41 AM

There’s an easy way to check to see if City of Grand Prairie roads are open and if streams are flooding during a rain event using the city’s Real-Time Gauge Data. The rain gauge data is managed on a website operated by Contrail software and features a map with real-time rainfall data and a dashboard with:

  • Road Status
  • Water Level – Above Road
  • Low Water Crossings
  • Flood Gate Information

Data is available for 23 city-owned gauges plus USGS gauges for Joe Pool Lake, Mountain Creek Lake and the Trinity River at Belt Line Road. Six additional gauges on creeks that flow into Grand Prairie also provide data during rain events.

On the "Water Level - Above Road" dashboard, the road elevation is shown as being "0." When the real-time readings show a negative number, the stream is below the road. A positive reading indicates that water is above the road and that the road is flooded.

Users can select gauges and examine data from a user-friendly map or from a list of gauges. All of these options are available on the recently updated website.

The city uses information from the real-time gauge data in conjunction with engineering studies to plan ahead for road closures during a heavy rain. Some gauges also provide wind direction, wind speed, air temperatures, humidity and road temperatures.

"The website does not show water levels throughout the city, just areas where we have gauges," said Stephanie Griffin, City of Grand Prairie Floodplain Manager. "In addition to predicting when roadways will flood, we hope to use data from the gauges to predict where roads will freeze."

Before a road is closed due to high water, the real-time data is studied, and city staff visits the site in person. Roadways are closed with barricades at locations where cars can turn around. Many times the barricade is far away from the flood site. However, the road may still be flooded or damaged. It is against the law to drive around a barricaded road, and drivers can be arrested and fined for such actions. City crews inspect the roads for damage and debris after the floodwaters recede and open the roads as soon as it is safe to do so.

If Cottonwood Creek floods over Carrier Parkway near McFalls Park West, flood gates will lower to block northbound and southbound traffic on Carrier Parkway. If drivers are caught between gates, they can simply drive up to the gate and it will open. On other city roadways, barricades will be used to block roads covered by high water. To find out if roadways with real-time rain-stream gauge data are closed, check the Road Status dashboard. If high water is in the road, Turn Around Don’t Drown®. If you come across a flooded road that has not been barricaded, please turn around to avoid the water and call Public Works Dispatch at 972-237-8400 to report the flooded road.

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