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February 19, 2019

Smart Sea Level Sensors for Emergency Planning and Response

Join us for a webinar on Feb. 26 at 11:30 AM to learn how the Smart Sea Level Sensor project will inform flood mitigation planning strategies and enable educational experiences for students. Reserve your spot by clicking here.

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Register by clicking here.

Download and share the flyer here.


Coastal flooding represents a growing threat to the City of Savannah and adjoining areas in Chatham County. Recent brushes with Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017 saw storm surges of 7+ feet at the county’s only two tide gauges, shutting down county schools and businesses for days. During these extreme weather events, strong winds interacted with an extremely intricate network of coastal rivers, tributaries, and marshlands to create a complex pattern of flooding that varied by 2-4ft over a distance of several miles.


The Smart Sea Level Sensor project ( aims to install a large network of internet-enabled water level sensors across flood-vulnerable Chatham County. This is done via a working partnership between officials from the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), the City of Savannah and a diverse team of scientists and engineers from Georgia Tech.


The project team has installed 8 sensors through a grant from the Georgia Tech Smart Communities program ( The planned deployment of 50-100 sea level sensors will stretch from Interstate 95 to Tybee Island – capturing a wide range of tributary sizes, orientation, and building densities.


The data collection will be complemented by a suite of modeling tools to inform flood risk and vulnerability. This includes 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. This information is required to inform planning for flood mitigation strategies.


Strategically, some sensor installations will be at middle and high schools in Chatham County to enable educational experiences for students. This is the first project of its kind in the region. The goal is to provide a template for expansions of this technology and community stakeholder framework to other areas of vulnerable coastline along the southeastern US.

Register by clicking here! 


  • Kim M. Cobb, Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Tech
  • Russell Clark, Research Faculty, Computer Science, Georgia Tech
  • Nick Deffley, Director, Office of Sustainability, City of Savannah
  • Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Tech
  • Jayma Koval, Research Faculty, CEISMC, Georgia Tech

Register by clicking here!