Flood cameras installed around Raleigh in hopes to deploy emergency responders expeditiously

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With the potential that Hurricane Dorian will impact the region later this week, the City of Raleigh has a new network of cameras to monitor flooding and more quickly deploy emergency responders to barricade roads.

Wayne Miles, who oversees the city’s stormwater management program, showed CBS17 on Tuesday the various cameras already installed and the advantages they offer during storms.

The city began by installing them in areas that have flooded previously, such as along Crabtree and Walnut creeks.

“These are really the areas that we have some historical knowledge that the roads have flooded in the past, and so these were our first priority for adding these cameras,” said Miles.

He’s able to monitor the cameras in real time from one of the city’s offices in downtown Raleigh as well as at the city’s emergency operations center.

As CBS17 previously reported, this summer the city began the process of installing 16 new cameras, also tapping into existing cameras utilized by the city’s transportation department.

There’s already a series of gauges along the creeks to track the water levels. 

Miles said there’s a lag time of about 15 minutes between the time the water reaches a certain level and when the gauges report that data. So, the cameras help to identify issues faster.

“To be able to do this many cameras, real time, you’ve got to have a lot of bandwidth. You’ve got to have a good communication system to do this,” he said. “Flooding is going to occur. We can’t completely prevent flooding, so what we try to do is keep people safe.”

Miles began working for the city about a month before Hurricane Florence made landfall last September.

“We’ve been able to see that flooding, verify it and deploy barricades and get people out there to keep people safe from driving through those flooded streets.”

Miles gave the example of a storm on Aug. 16, which caused flooding on a portion of Creedmoor Road near Crabtree Valley Mall.

He said the city is not recording the video from the cameras, nor are they used for enforcing traffic violations.

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