A Newport News-led regional team of eight localities and other partnering agencies has been awarded a Smart Cities grant for the StormSense Project
, a tool to forecast flooding from storm surge, rain, and tide. The tool is based on a hydrodynamic forecast model that originated from the research of Dr. Derek Loftis from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Dr. Loftis and the regional team are working together to deliver a tool that predicts street level inundation for first responders during a storm event.
StormSense uses sensors to provide near real-time water level information so that a revised inundation prediction can be made based on changing conditions. This $75,000 grant will be used to install sensors from bridges in Newport News and other participating localities that will capture the data that will be used to predict flooding in order to improve disaster preparedness.
The regional team includes the localities of Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Williamsburg, and York County, along with William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Virginia Department of Health, Christopher Newport University, and Wetlands Watch. The grant is part of the National Institute of Science and Technology’s Replicable Smart City Technologies program which encourages teams of communities to develop and deploy technologies that address public issues such as flooding, emergency response, air pollution, etc., and that can be implemented by other communities across the country.