Home Echoes of August 2020 flooding: Staunton implements $80K flood awareness system

Echoes of August 2020 flooding: Staunton implements $80K flood awareness system

An aerial view of North Central Avenue on Aug. 9, 2020 after a flood in downtown Staunton. Courtesy of David Verde.

If flooding happens in the Queen City again like in early August 2020, the city will be ready.

A flood awareness system is now live for the city of Staunton.

Residents can sign up to receive notifications via email and/or text message regarding possible flooding alerts. A reporting dashboard and notification sign-up are available online.

The new system provides real-time data collection, reporting and analysis on local waterways and rainfall that may impact them. As sensors work together, users are equipped with more data to identify and better prepare for possible flood events. Water level and rain gauge sensors are one component of the flood mitigation strategy that the city undertook since the floods of 2020.

“These sensors are the first step in accurately monitoring rainfall and water depth within Staunton’s waterways,” Environmental Programs Administrator Pete Kesecker said. “We’ve got a multi-departmental team working together to put systems in place to provide some advanced warning of a possible major flash flooding event, hopefully giving businesses, patrons, citizens and City staff some time to take appropriate action.”

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the sensors and accompanying website are an $80,000 project. Staff will deploy additional sensors in the future and will provide other alerting options as more data is collected overtime.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.