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New 'Water Watch Network' Will Prepare Shelby County For Next Flood

Seven weather systems and rain gauges will be installed in Shelby County to record real-time data during severe weather and floods.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The historic flood of May 2011 destroyed hundreds of homes, but fortunately, no lives were lost. The Shelby County Office of Preparedness gives credit to Mid-Southerners for being prepared and taking action when the river crested.

Over the last year, the Emergency Management Agency, along with the National Weather Service and Army Corps of Engineers, has found a way to gather more information during a flood. It's called the "Water Watch Network".

Over the next few months, more than seven weather networks and rain gauges will be installed in various locations across Shelby County. They are designed to be able to transmit real-time data, including rainfall per hour and wind speeds. The gauges will also have visual capabilities and will be accessible to emergency responders online.

Bob Nations, Director of EMA/HLS, says, "I could be at home. The mayor could be at home. We'll be able to pull it up and look at the same thing. At the very least, we'll know what the conditions are so that in our populated areas, we'll be able to get warning messages out earlier."

The installation will cost more than $60,000, but it's money well spent if it helps to save lives. The Water Watch Network is expected to be in place by the end of June 2012.
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