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Flooding affects public health and safety, mobility, infrastructure, and the city’s economy. In the face of climate change, access to real-time data is the key to coping with the increasing frequency and severity of floods. 

New York City has had limited data available on the frequency, extent, and depth of floods. A multi-institutional collaboration, FloodNet, is addressing this challenge through the design, manufacture, and deployment of novel, low-cost, open-source sensors in flood-prone areas across NYC. 

Involving various local organizations and community partners, FloodNet aims to provide real-time data on the scope and scale of local flood events to a range of stakeholders, including citizens, policymakers, government agencies, emergency response teams, community advocacy groups, and researchers.

The uses of the FloodNet data include emergency preparedness, resiliency and transportation planning, and validating NYC stormwater flood models and future flood maps. The data will feed into an early warning system throughout the city, informing road closures or travel bans and alerting drivers to avoid flooded and dangerous streets, according to homelandsecuritynewswire.com