02 Feb 2022
02 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Brief communication – Impact Forecasting Could Substantially Improve the Emergency Management of Deadly Floods: Case Study July 2021 floods in Germany

Heiko Apel1, Sergiy Vorogushyn1, and Bruno Merz1,2 Heiko Apel et al.
  • 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience, Section Hydrology, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2University of Potsdam, Institute for Environmental Sciences and Geography, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Floods affect more people than any other natural hazard, thus flood warning and disaster management are of utmost importance. However, the operational hydrological forecasts do not provide information about affected areas and impact, but only discharge and water levels at gauges. We show that a simple hydrodynamic model operating with readily available data is able to provide highly localized information on the expected flood extent and impacts, with simulation times enabling operational flood warning. We demonstrate that such an impact forecast would have indicated the deadly potential of the 2021 flood in West Germany with sufficient lead time.

Heiko Apel et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-33', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Heiko Apel, 04 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-33', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Heiko Apel, 23 Mar 2022

Heiko Apel et al.

Heiko Apel et al.


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Short summary
The manuscript presents a fast simulation model for flood propagation, that enables operational forecasts of spatially distributed inundation depths, flood extent and flow velocities and other flood impacts. The detailed spatial forecast of floods and flood impacts is a large step foreward from the currently operational forecasts of discharges at selected gauges, thus enabling a more targeted flood management and earliy warning.