RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation will not be caught off guard the next time a storm leaves roadways flooded.
Hurricane season is set to begin on June 1, and “researchers at N.C. State University and the National Hurricane Center are predicting an above-average hurricane season,” according to a news release.
To prepare, the state has installed a network of 400 river and stream gauges—what they referred to as an “armada of flood gauges”—as part of an “advanced flood-warning system.”
For the first time, the state will be able to map and analyze areas before and as flooding occurs. The information will be passed on to maintenance teams who will be able to respond to flooded roads and washed-out culverts.
The system will allow the state to survey about 15,000 bridges and culverts across the state, and part of this system reaches across close to 3,000 miles of roads, primarily across the area east of Interstate 95.
The data will also be available to the public on DriveNC.gov.
“This state-of-the-art warning system our department has created will help us be better prepared for the next major storm,” Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette said. “Even though we’ve had some quiet hurricane seasons recently, we cannot let our guard down.”
This new technology comes to North Carolina thanks to a $2 million grant from the state legislature for software and gauges to monitor and analyze flooding. Most of the system utilizes pre-existing gauges operated by agencies such as Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey.