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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Merrick & Company Awarded Contract in South Florida for Herbert Hoover Dike and Lake Okeechobee

Merrick & Company, a world leader in LiDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping was awarded a LiDAR and Imagery Acquisition and Processing project for a 2,263 square mile area at Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee in south Florida. This is a collaborative effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA), the US Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville (USACE), the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM). Funded by FEMA, the data will be collected and developed using the Florida GIS Baseline Specifications for Orthophotography and LiDAR, a jointly developed geospatial specification by state and federal agencies in Florida.

Richard Butgereit, GIS Administrator for the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the technical lead for the entire project states, “Merrick was chosen based on their experience in southern Florida’s climate and weather conditions as well as their innovative technical approach to breakline generation using LiDAR and aerial imagery.”

Merrick will deliver LiDAR data, 1-foot color digital orthophotography, a DEM, 1-foot and 2-foot contours, and breaklines. Breaklines will be collected for all significant hydrographic features and will cut through culverts and bridges to allow accurate modeling of the hydrology of the project area. Data collection is underway and will be delivered in four phases during the winter and spring of 2008.

Gary Outlaw explains, “Accurate elevation data is needed to update inundation maps and for modeling, planning, and mitigating potential failure to the dike system.”

Butgereit continues, “This new high resolution elevation dataset will be used for storm surge modeling and will be an important input into new regional evacuation studies.”

The Herbert Hoover Dike project area is very flat. The majority of the land cover is sugar cane and produce crops, switch grass, and includes areas of wetlands, pasture, and orchards. The area has been heavily ditched and has many canals. The dominant geographic feature is Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding 140 mile-long Herbert Hoover Dike, a major component of the Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes (C&SF ). The dike provides flood control, water supply, recreational, and environmental benefits.

Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management on the Web at www.floridadisaster.org/gis and learn more about catastrophic planning at www.floridadisaster.org/catastrophicplanning.

Press Release - Merrick & Company