A $58,000 grant will help pay for the installation of five flood gauges in low-lying Gloucester to warn residents when rising waters from storms, unusually high tides, or other events are swamping roads.
The county's portion of the bill for the flood gauges is $14,504, according to a memo from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. But the state may cover the bulk of the county's costs, leaving Gloucester to finance just 5 percent -- $2,900 -- of the total cost of the project, said Assistant County Administrator Garrey Curry.
County officials have identified 11 sites in Glass and Guinea that are mostly along the sides of roads to place the flood gauges, Curry said. That list will be whittled down to five locations, one of which is expected to be the intersection of Guinea, Maryus and Kings Creek roads, Curry said.
"This entry point to lower Guinea is a very good indicator for flooding in other areas," Curry said.
The flood gauges are cellular operated. The systems come with a public flood gauge indicator board that's essentially a ruler in the ground for public viewing, according to state documents.
They also come equipped with a support pipe, mess strainer, sensor to determine water levels, a cellular remote transmitting unit with antenna and backup power sources.
The system is designed to provide notification to the public in the area through its visual sign board on site, but will also provide an alert when water reaches pavement and other levels, according to state documents.
Additional notification is provided through cellular messages sent directly to the county and its emergency staff, as well as instant text messages to residents' cell phones.
Alerts will also be sent to the public via reverse 911 calls, messages on the county's web site and notifications to VDOT's 511 system, according to state documents.
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