Launch Case Study: Harrisburg, PA High Water Mark Initiative

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 The high water flood level at this location was 5.80 ft. above ground. Be Aware. Prepare (

On April 29, 2013, the Harrisburg launch event informed the public of their local flood risks and unveiled the Harrisburg High Water Mark signs. The initiative strives to educate residents about flood safety and awareness, as well as encourage students to explore careers in science and math.

Launch Event Attendees

  • Harrisburg: Mayor Linda Thompson, School District Superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney, city representatives including Kevin Hagerich and Kari Reagan-Bushey
  • Regional: Ben Pratt, Susquehanna River Basin Commission
  • State: Fred Boylstein and Cory Angell, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal: Stacey Underwood, Marisa Lewis, and Ashley Williams (USACE – Federal lead); Vincent Brown and David Bollinger (FEMA); Mark Roland (USGS), Charles Ross (NWS NOAA)

Classroom Presentation

Classroom presentation about the High Water Mark initiative in Harrisburg, PA to a 7th grade classroom.Charles Ross, Vincent Brown, Mark Roland and Ben Pratt presented to 7th graders on the functions and roles of each of their respective agencies, local flood awareness and flood preparedness. The presentation generated numerous questions and comments.                     


Press Conference at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School Auditorium

Mayor Linda Thompson and Vincent Brown spoke to the local press and school children about the High Water Mark Initiative and how to reduce their local flood risk. Additionally, they encouraged students to take the initiative to learn more about their local risks and to inform their parents on how to prepare for a flood.

Roundtable Discussion on Mayor’s Cable Talk ShowRoundtable Discussion on Mayor’s Cable Talk Show with Vincent Brown, Stacey Underwood, Ben Pratt, and Mayor Linda Thompson.

Mayor Linda Thompson invited Vincent Brown, Stacey Underwood and Ben Pratt to discuss the purpose of the High Water Mark Initiative, the city’s local flood risks, where the public can obtain flood preparedness information and how the community can reduce its flood risks. The discussion aired on local television.

Resulting Coverage

The High Water Mark event drew significant media coverage by local news channels and newspapers. For clips from the event, please visit:

FOX 43 media coverage of the Harrisonburg, PA's High Water Mark initiative.

Last Updated: 
06/03/2015 - 18:37
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