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Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium

StormSense Alerts

Innovative Use of Technology in Local Government

City of Newport News
Tammie Organski, GIS Manager

The City of Newport News now is using StormSense software to predict localized flooding in conjunction with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). It is utilizing the City's email integration and public portal components to allow citizens to self-register for flooding alerts issued by the sensors in their area. Incident notifications offer the public real time warnings of flood water threats and changes based on individually selected options.

The project brought together the benefits of the data collected by the StormSense flood sensors, research being conducted by the VIMS team, use of GIS and auto-communication.

Ten StormSense sensors were positioned around Newport News on bridges, piers and other locations where floodwaters could be reliably monitored. Each sensor is configured to email the mass communication system when triggered by an event; the system then processes incoming emails to insure validity, identify the sensor location, and parse the inbound message data. Based on logical criteria, the logic then selects the associated message, variables and recipients and issues the notifications.

Along with other types of alerts, residents can subscribe to receive various Stormsense notifications on the City NNALERT portal. They can select from which sensor(s) they wish to receive alerts; by what methods (multiple) they wish to be alerted (phones, text, email, social media or mobile app). They can also enable/disable each method and change or delete them at any time.

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