Getting Ready for a Hurricane with Stormwater Management

News posted Oct. 22, 2018 - 6:00 am

Recently, Two hurricanes affected North Carolina – Hurricane Florence in September and Hurricane Michael in October. There are several ways that the Stormwater Management Division prepares for hurricanes and other major storms:

  1. We lower water levels at Lake Johnson, Northshore Lake, Durant Nature Preserve, Beaman Lake, and Carolina Pines Park. This provides more water storage in the lake and lessens the likelihood of major flooding impacts to downstream properties or those that can become isolated by flood waters;
  2. We actively monitor stream gauges from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to identify areas that may flood. This information is used to coordinate road closures with Raleigh Police. Does your neighborhood flood? Be sure to check out these repeat flood locations ahead of the next storm; and,
  3. We also secure active construction sites to prepare for any potential flooding and erosion.

For major hurricanes where we may see 10 or more inches of rain, we may also send out emergency notification by email, text, and phone call to alert residents who may be at risk of hazardous flooding. Prior to Hurricane Florence we contacted more than 26,000 residents who live in flood-prone areas encouraging them to seek higher ground in the event that a flood warning was issued. Raleigh Fire Department even went on-foot to notify residents in these neighborhoods. If you receive thise type of notification, please be sure to have an emergency and safety plan in place.

What’s Next

Flashing Warning Signs

  • These signs have LED lights that flash when the road is about to flood. They will be installed at flood-prone roads. The City also will be notified when flooding occurs adding a level of protection for the public.

Early-warning Notification System

  • We are piloting a system that will use rainfall intensity and computer modeling to predict flooding before it occurs. This will help us anticipate flooding and provide advanced warning to residents in high-impact areas.

This article was originally printed in the Stormwater Management Division's Urban Watersheds publication. Subscribe to learn more and to receive stormwater-related news.
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