"The timely warning of a flood is crucial to the protection of lives and property. One has only to recall the flood of August 2, 1973, in Somerset County, New Jersey, in which six lives were lost and major property damage occurred, to realize how unexpected and costly, especially in terms of human life, a flood can be. Accurate forecasts and warnings cannot be made, however, without detailed information about precipitation and streamflow in the drainage basin. Recognizing the need for detailed hydrologic information for Somerset County, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Somerset County, installed the Somerset County Flood Information System (SCFIS) in 1990. The availability of data provided by this system will improve the flood forecasting ability of the National Weather Service (NWS), and has assisted Somerset County and municipal agencies in planning and execution of flood-preparation and emergency evacuation procedures in the county. This fact sheet describes the Somerset County Flood Information System and identifies its benefits."
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/