UD researchers develop low-cost ways to monitor flood-prone roads

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CEMA’s David Huntley explains the low-cost flood sensing equipment to transportation and emergency management officials from state and federal agencies. UD photo.
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As occupants of the lowest lying state in the nation, residents of Delaware face the danger of roadway flooding regularly.

CEMA’s David Huntley explains the low-cost flood sensing equipment to transportation and emergency management officials from state and federal agencies. UD photo.

The  Delaware Department of Transportation has made it a priority to monitor the status of roads, issuing flood warnings and closing roads that might prove dangerous to drivers.

Conventional sensors that track flood levels across the state are expensive to install and maintain. Because of that cost, DelDOT had to limit the monitoring to areas with the highest risk of flooding.

 But the University of Delaware’s Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis (CEMA) is looking to change that.

DelDOT has worked with CEMA on several projects in the past and knew it had the expertise to address this flood monitoring challenge, so the state agency provided a grant to the center to experiment with potential solutions.

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Using that funding, several low-cost flood sensors that could be used to augment DelDOT’s current flood-monitoring system were developed.

The devices could cost as little as $150 each and require minimal maintenance, which could allow DelDOT to monitor roads that flood less regularly as well as the regular trouble spots, providing the agency with a more comprehensive monitoring system to keep Delaware drivers safe and informed.

Click here for the full story from the University of Delaware.

 

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