MIDLAND, Mich. — Midland County commissioners have signed a deal with the state to access elevation data to help determine flooding patterns.

The Midland Daily News reports that the county will be able to use the Michigan Statewide Authoritative Imagery and LIDAR program.

Midland’s Geographic Information Center Director Chris Cantrell says the airborne system sends pulses of lasers down and collects the returns. The data was collected last fall.

He says the need for elevation data becomes more significant in Midland County because it is more difficult to determine slopes in flatter areas.

Cantrell adds that “in a county that is as flat as Midland, it’s important to see where the water can go.”

Midland County, the county road commission and the city of Midland are to split the program’s nearly $14,000 cost.

Information from: Midland Daily News, http://www.ourmidland.com