Friday 21 Sep 2018

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New Flood Gauges To Aid N.C. Public

(NORTH CAROLINA NEWS NETWORK) — Additional flood gauges are being installed to help improve safety across the state.

When river levels began rising last year after a late-April storm dumped five to eight inches of rain across North Carolina’s Piedmont, North Carolina Emergency Management warned community leaders along the Neuse River what day and time the river would crest and just how high water levels would rise in their community. A series of flood gauges provided critical data to make those predictions. Soon 13 more gauges will join that state network and help alert other communities to dangerous flooding.

“Time and again over the last several years, we’ve used data from these flood gauges to warn residents and communities about dangerous flood conditions,” said state emergency management director Mike Sprayberry.

The new devices will join the state’s network of more than 560 strategically positioned rain and stream gauges that measure rainfall and water levels to warn first responders and residents who live and work near flood-prone areas.  As the backbone of the state’s Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN), the gauges provide real-time data that is used to formulate forecasts, issue alerts and convey the anticipated flood impact to buildings and infrastructure.  The data collected by NCEM is provided to federal agencies and is available through NOAA and the National Weather Service.

FIMAN can show precisely which buildings and homes will flood when local rivers or streams reach certain flood levels.  During Hurricane Matthew, this capability was used to direct efficient and appropriate evacuations and resources.

Much of the flood data is available in real time through the ReadyNC mobile app developed by NCEM. App users can click on Flood Gauges to check the current status of sounds, creeks and rivers nearby to see if the water level is at normal levels or minor, moderate or major flood stage.

While the state has purchased and installed most of the gauges, some communities have partnered with NCEM to purchase devices that will provide flood information for their community.

 

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