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FINS - Flood Information and Notification System

The Flood Information & Notification System (FINS) alerts local
  • fire
  • police
  • emergency management and

to the threat or actual danger of flooding.

FINS logo

FINS rescue 

FINS is not intended to be a public warning system. It only notifies emergency responders. The National Weather Services provides Flood Watches and Flood Warnings to the news media and public.

FINS is an​ asset to our emergency responders. However, it is still very important for people who see flooding anywhere in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to call 911.

FINS is a partnership involving the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the US Geological Survey. We continually monitor rainfall and stream depth levels. Emergency responders are notified when there is a potential or actual problem.

Three Levels of FINS
  • ALERT—When rainfall is intense or streams rise rapidly.  The FINS system automatically sends the ALERT via pager, cell phone and e-mail to emergency responders and Storm Water Services staff.
  • INVESTIGATE—If the situation gets worse, emergency personnel must personally visit the location of heavy rainfall or flooding.  They will barricade streets or take other action if needed.
  • EMERGENCY—The highest level.  Additional precautions may be necessary such as evacuating residents near the high-water areas.
 FINS equipment. 

Thirteen sites with a history of repeated of dangerous flooding have special FINS equipment. Emergency responders are automatically notified when stream depths at any of those 13 locations reach a certain threshold. 

FINS stream gauge locations:
  • Briar Creek at Shamrock Drive
  • Briar Creek at Monroe Road
  • Briar Creek at Providence Road
  • Little Hope Creek at Mockingbird Lane
  • Little Sugar Creek at 36th Street
  • Little Sugar Creek at Carolinas Medical Center
  • Little Sugar Creek at Wakefield Drive
  • Mallard Creek at Pavilion Boulevard
  • McAlpine Creek at Sardis Road
  • McAlpine Creek at Addison Drive
  • McMullen Creek at Sharon View Road
  • Stewart Creek at Freedom Drive
  • Sugar Creek at Downs Road

FINS equipment 

Map of FINS.

The 13 automated FINS sites are part of a larger network of more than 50 stream gauges and more than 70 rain gauges throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In drought or downpour, these computerized gauges transmit rainfall and stream depth data around the clock to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services and to the US Geological Survey.

USGS uses the data to track floods, droughts and rainfall patterns across the entire region.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services uses stream depth and rainfall data to identify flood-prone areas and seek long-term solutions to flooding problems.

See rainfall amounts and stream depths as measured by USGS gauges in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

See the FINS map showing where FINS rain and stream gauges are.

More about how rainfall data is collected in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

For more information about the Flood Information & Notification System, contact:

Josh McSwain
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services