OCEAN — Between sunny-day flooding, hurricanes and beach erosion, coastal North Carolinians have firsthand knowledge of the flooding challenges the region is facing.
Coastal Review Online has partnered with ISeeChange, a New Orleans-based online social weather and climate platform, and Green Stream Technologies, a Raleigh-based provider of sensor technology to the North Carolina Emergency Management Department, to empower coastal North Carolina residents to turn their expertise into data and use that data to strengthen their communities.
Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Local News Fund, the three partners are channeling the power of residents to document and report flooding and flag for monitoring areas of most concern.
How does it work?
Residents download the ISeeChange app or login to the website, report via the app flooding as it occurs and verify flood data with pictures of their own. These personal stories will be synced with five existing Green Stream sensors monitoring flooding in Sampson, Duplin and Onslow counties.
By July 2020, ISeeChange and Green Stream will award five additional sensors to inform communities that need it the most, based on frequency and severity of reported flooding.
North Carolina residents are encouraged to share photos and stories of past flooding they’ve experienced by simply changing the date, time, and location on the app or platform.
About the program
“By monitoring and reporting flooding in their communities, we’re empowering residents to build an on-the-ground truth for authorities about the flooding that occurs in their region,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation and publisher of Coastal Review Online. “That means adding data to the dialogue and spreading the word about flood hazards affecting the region.”
“We see this as an opportunity to enhance Coastal Review Online’s coverage of the increased flooding and other related problems happening along the North Carolina coast and better engage our readers,” said Mark Hibbs, editor, Coastal Review Online.
Green Stream data is already being used to inform flood monitoring efforts of North Carolina Emergency Management, with data already available to residents via the state’s online Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network, or FIMAN.
“Residents are experts in their own backyards” said Drapkin, CEO of ISeeChange. “They can add details and context that sensors, flood models, and satellites alone can’t. But together those added details matter in more ways than one to improve our neighborhoods and plan for the future.”
“We see the internet of things sensors and related technologies as a way to collect more detailed data about flooding at an affordable cost. Data is even better when it’s verified by people on the scene,” said Jim Gray, CEO of Green Stream.
Become a flood reporter
We are looking for individuals, local businesses and organizations to become flood reporters this season. To sign up, first download the ISeeChange Tracker mobile app for iOS and Android, or visit www.iseechange.org. Create an account, watch stream levels in your community, and post a photo or flood observation. Please be safe. Never enter flood water under any circumstances, and do not put yourself in danger for a photo.