Chatham County

June 8, 2018

Smart Sea Level Tools for Emergency Planning and Response

Chatham County, in partnership with the City of Savannah, The Creative Coast Incorporated, and a team of Georgia Tech researchers led by Dr. Kim Cobb (Director of the Global Change Program and the Georgia Power Chair and Professor in Earth and Atmospheric Science), will design, develop, and test a pilot sensor network for measuring sea level flood risk in order to inform government officials and other key stakeholders in real-time during natural disasters and storms. The pilot network will help to improve flood warnings, emergency response action plans, and flood predictions for future flood events, as well as serve as the basis for additional sea management tool development, environmental monitoring platform development, and data sharing.

Chatham County’s project leverages the ongoing, Google-funded “Climate Stories” research led by Georgia Tech, UGA, and Emory, which uses virtual reality to visualize and shape the narratives of climate impacts and climate solutions in communities throughout Georgia. Leveraging this work, the team will develop the pilot sensor and communications infrastructure, test system capacity and ability to supply data in real-time, design an online aggregation and visualization platform, and perform preliminary flood risk assessments under various environmental scenarios. The team will also continue to engage coastal residents and stakeholders to explore how the community could utilize the data for additional uses.

Chatham County is partnering with a diverse team of Georgia Tech researchers to study the issues related to large-scale deployments of IoT-enabled remote sensors (Dr. Russell Clark and Lalith Polepeddi); integrate ocean models for predictive sea level risk assessments (Dr. Emanuele Di Lorenzo); and provide decision support and resilience planning tools for community leaders (Dr. David Frost).

“The City of Savannah is excited at the opportunity to partner with our counterparts at CEMA, and scientists and engineers from Georgia Tech in tackling one of the most pressing issues for our community,” said Heath Lloyd, Chief Officer of Infrastructure and Development for Savannah. Chatham County Engineer Leon Davenport highlighted the project’s impacts on the community, stating “Beyond the application to emergency planning and response, we are excited to partner with the Georgia Tech team to raise awareness about coastal flooding and sea level rise within the coastal community.”

Read Chatham's Georgia Smart Proposal HERE