Belhaven Prepares for future flooding with new technology

BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Belhaven has a new upgrade to monitor future floods.

The waterfront town of Belhaven is no stranger when it comes to flooding, sitting right at three feet above sea level. According to FEMA, the community has been flooded by seven named storms and hurricanes within the last eight years, not including floods caused by regular storms.

Town manager Lynn Davis says they now have a way to prepare for the future with some outside help.

“Belhaven was selected to partner with SECOORA, the Department of Public Safety, and North Carolina Sea Grant for the installation of water level gauges near our coastal areas where we have experienced flooding and have a tendency to have sunny day flooding,” says Town Manager Lynn Davis.

SECOORA, the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, is the coastal ocean observing system for the Southeastern U.S.

What appears as solar panels above the water are actually water gauges that monitor and track water levels throughout the day to predict when the next sunny day flooding or nuisance flooding will occur.

Flooding is a major problem for the storefronts in downtown Belhaven, where businesses have had to raise their floors over the years. One store manager says receiving alerts from the town of Belhaven, provided by SECOORA, will give her peace of mind.

“Being alerted by the new technology will allow me to know which roads are going to be flooded or what to expect. That way we can be aware and inform my employees, especially those who have to travel or even those who live locally,” says the Refinery store manager Amber Coonce.

The water level monitoring stations update daily and hourly to let residents know when to expect future flooding within the Belhaven community.

For more information on SECOORA and where to track water levels near you, click here.