Find your neighborhood in the NOAA storm surge prediction maps - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Find your neighborhood in the NOAA storm surge prediction maps

Source: NOAA Source: NOAA

A new tool lets you see if your neighborhood is expected to flood with any given storm.

The "SLOSH" model uses National Weather Service data about storm surges in new, easy-to-use interactive maps.

"Red is bad," FOX 8's Chief Meteorologist Bob Breck explained.

However, its purpose isn't to scare. Instead, it's to help prepare.

"You get a map like this and what you can do is you can just get on your computer now and move the map to wherever you are located," Breck said. "These maps allow you to go to your neighborhood so you can kind of focus on what is your flood risk."

"With a lot of the storms you'll hear people - you know, 'I didn't evacuate for this one, that one, and it was no big deal,' and it's like well, look at the data, look at the probabilities, you're putting yourself at risk," Algiers resident Sean O'Boyle said after seeing the map for the first time.

In a Category 5, the data shows that even some areas people are used to evacuating to would take on water.

"You don't want to go to Baton Rouge," Breck said. "How the water surges up the bayous - you go into the different categories, how this water just backs up and you get to Category 5, and I mean all the way up river - even west of Baton Rouge," Breck said.

The maps currently show a generalization, but it'll change as a storm approaches to take into account information available about the track and intensity.

"When we do get a storm, the actual data, the forecast predicted storm surge, will be on the map," Breck said.

A FEMA spokesperson said, "The National Weather Service SLOSH maps have no effect on FEMA floodmaps or flood insurance rates."

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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