On the water with USGS

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 5:00pm

BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) - Since the threat of flooding began - the United States Geological Survey has been spending lots of time on area rivers.

They're measuring everything from water depth to water speed - all in an effort to save lives and property.

The USGS has the latest technology. Their findings are reported to the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service.

"They can't do their job without knowing what's happening on the ground - or in this case in the river", says Todd Baumann with the USGS.

Those agencies use that information to make key decisions like opening another bay at the Morganza Spillway or evacuating a parish.

"If we're not doing our due diligence... to make sure we're not collecting the best data we can - then the people who make the decisions could be making potentially life threatening, property threatening decisions based on erroneous data.", Baumann says.

Baumann says there's simply too much on the line to make a mistake.

The USGS is also on the Atchafalaya River several times a day - making sure the Army Corps of Engineers has the latest information.

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