The City of Roanoke, VA is working with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) on a flood sensor project. The city was chosen for the project by CIT due to its history of flooding and the city’s existing flood resiliency efforts.
“I experienced the Flood of 1985 first-hand, and vividly remember the light of heroism demonstrated during that dark time,” said Chuck Kirby, CIT Vice President of Smart Communities. “It is a privilege for CIT to provide vital smart communities technology, such as ISI Flood Sensors, that can save lives and reduce property damage when flooding occurs.” ( The flood caused 10 deaths in and around Roanoke, damaged about 3,000 homes and 100 businesses, and had an overall monetary damage estimated at $225 million -making it the city’s worst flood on record. )
The AWARE Flood System – manufactured by Intellisense Systems, Inc. (ISI) – will provide real-time, web-based information on flooding conditions that can be used in assessing the need to order evacuating flood prone homes, proactively closing roadways, and floodplain management. The system uses low-cost sensors and communication units that autonomously report water level and precipitation through a variety of accessories – such as pressure level sensors, water-resistant camera sensors, and tipping bucket rain gauges.
“The City of Roanoke will never forget the Flood of 1985,” said Robert S. Cowell, Jr., City Manager. “We learned many lessons from that tragic event in our history. Thanks to emerging flood sensor technology leveraged by dedicated staff, the City of Roanoke is working hard to protect its citizens during local flooding.”