RD694 - Virginia Department of Emergency Management – The Integrated Flood Observation and Warning System (IFLOWS) Enhancement Program Year ONE

Executive Summary:

This document presents a detailed explanation of the first steps of the IFLOWS Enhancement Program, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM’s) strategy to evaluate, replace, and/or upgrade the system. It was developed to satisfy the requirements set forth in the 2020-2022 Budget Bill: The State Coordinator of the Department of Emergency Management shall develop a plan that prioritizes a list of repairs, replacements, upgrades, and maintenance needs of IFLOWS systems. The Department is directed to provide a report that consists of, but is not limited to, detailed costs to address each project; a phased plan to fund the cost of upgrading, enhancing, and maintaining the systems, if feasible, giving priority to systems that require immediate replacement, repairs, and upgrades; and recommendations for offsetting the costs with federal grants and cost-sharing opportunities with localities that rely on IFLOWS. The report shall be submitted to the Secretary of Finance, the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget, and the Chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees no later than October 15, 2020.

The total rough order magnitude (ROM) cost estimate for the Program is $4.6M, although this estimate will be refined as planning progresses. The Program schedule is five years, dictated by the anticipated disbursement rate (one allotment per year for five years). In addition to GA funds, VDEM will seek federal funding streams. Additionally, VDEM will closely collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure the system provides the highest value features.

The ultimate goals of this project will be the following:

• Restore operational readiness to a consistent rate of at least 95% of intended functionality.

• Support maintenance and training through organic maintenance personnel and support to locality preventive maintenance efforts.

• Provide and accessible long-term hydrologic database.

• Maximize value to stakeholders through prioritized system capabilities.

• Develop a better capability for collecting and understanding the data from existing IFLOWS infrastructure which can be ingested into existing predictive analysis.

• Modernize the current architecture to support increased data fields from a variety of sources.

• Improve, modernize and replace hardware as needed while retaining and maintaining the infrastructure elements that are still useful.

• Support future operations for data transfer, up to and including a Commonwealth-wide Common Operating Picture that can be used by localities and decision makers as both a situational awareness tool and a method to formulate evacuation decisions and flood mitigation strategies.