Staunton installs flood sensors as part of ongoing flood mitigation strategies

Staunton is introducing flood sensors as part of mitigation.
Staunton is introducing flood sensors as part of mitigation.(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 4:39 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The City of Staunton is partnering with the Virginia Innovative Partnership Corporation (VIPC), formerly known as the Center for Innovative Technology, to introduce new flood mitigation measures.

These efforts come after floods in 2020 that devastated much of the city. VIPC will provide Staunton with flood sensors and water gauges to further flood mitigation strategies.

The technology provides real-time information on where water comes from and where it collects. The city said in a news release they’ll use this information to evacuate flood-prone areas and detour traffic.

The city will be able to form a more robust response, as well as learn about flood water and where it collects to implement long-term changes. VIPC said the tools and information can increase the time residents have to prepare.

“Now you’ve got minutes, we’re hoping to drastically increase that. What used to be five minutes, we’re hoping to make 20-30 minutes lead time, and that makes all the difference in the world,” said Vice President of Smart Communities Chuck Kirby.

Kirby says Staunton was selected as part of the project because of the significant need and ongoing strategies in the area.

“The downtown area floods very quickly. You’ve got some flashing going on right there. You have very, very little time to be able to put up flood gates or evacuate or some combination thereof,” Kirby said.

Through experience, many have become skilled at protecting themselves against floods, but the sensors will make it easier to work on prevention.

“It can lead to a larger community response, and through doing things like that and having more knowledge, having more data, being more prepared, all that’s going to do is continue to save lives and property values,” he said.

Staunton officials say the floods in 2020 resulted in 166 reports of damage, estimated at $3.1 million.

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