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Smart Sea Level Sensors



Russell Clark

Georgia Tech, Chatham Emergency Management Agency, City of Savannah

We've deployed a network of low-cost, internet-enabled water level sensors on docks and bridges throughout coastal Georgia to monitor water levels in real-time and aid in emergency response during flood events. The sensors also provide a unique and important dataset to aid scientists, engineers, and regional planners in quantifying the short- and long-term risks associated with continued sea level rise.

The Smart Sea Level Sensors Project began in 2018 with the goal of installing a high-density network of water level sensors across flood-vulnerable Chatham County, via a working partnership between officials from the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and the City of Savannah, together with a diverse team of scientists and engineers from Georgia Tech. In recent years as the project has grown, we're working to expand the sensor network throughout coastal Georgia.

The data collection will be complemented by a suite of modeling tools to inform flood risk and vulnerability, including a high-resolution coastal ocean model as well as an integrated hydrological model to capture surface runoff during high precipitation events. Taken together, the framework enables the assessment of  short- and long-term coastal flooding risk and vulnerability that are required to inform planning for flood mitigation strategies.

This is the first project of its kind in the region, and our goal is to provide a template for expansions of this technology and community stakeholder framework to other areas of vulnerable coastline throughout the southeastern US.

To view the real-time sensor data, visit

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