Roadway Flooding Solution - Bexar County, TX

 

      Bexar County Roadway Flooding SolutionBexar County Roadway Flooding Solution

 

 

Flooding causes more deaths and property damage in the U.S. than any other severe weather-related event. The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles, which includes pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Texas is prone to extremely heavy rains and flooding with half of the world record rainfall rates (accumulations in forty-eight hours or less). It also has the distinction of being the state with the most flood-related deaths in the past thirty-six years. Bexar County in central Texas, about 190 miles west of Houston, is particularly vulnerable because storms stall along the Balcones escarpment. This region is known as the Hill Country and has earned the nickname "flash flood alley". Due to this geography, roadway flooding is a natural hazard and a regular occurrence.

In order to better prepare residents, County officials implemented a roadway flooding warning system in 2007. The roadway flooding warning system consists of four rain and stream gauging sites, which monitor conditions at low points on two separate roadways. When water threatens to flood the road, a roadway flooding warning system automatically activates flashing beacons to warn motorists. Pleased with the success of this roadway flooding solution, the County awarded a contract to HSE in July 2009 for implementation of additional roadway flooding warning systems. The County now operates two base stations, twelve gauging sites, and twenty-seven roadway flooding warning stations with flashing beacons to monitor flooding conditions. According to Art Villareal, Watershed Program Coordinator at Bexar County, "High Sierra Electronics has managed the project in a professional manner. From hardware installation to software set-up and configuration, the system has performed and has helped our agency improve safety measures for area residents and visitors".

Roadway Flooding Warning Site
Roadway Flooding Warning Site

 


 

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