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New gauges may give forecasters an upper hand

By Ellen Bacca
Published On: Jun 28 2013 05:42:34 PM CDT
ORIENTAL, PAMLICO COUNTY -

Five new river gauges have been installed, this time forecasters are targeting sound side towns.

The locations that now have a state of the art weather station and river gauge were picked by forecasters at the local National Weather Service office as well as employees at the State Division of Emergency Management. Project leaders say most water gauges are located inland on rivers and streams. These five new water gauges will help significantly when strong storms like nor'easters and hurricanes approach.

The gauges have been installed in Columbia, Belhaven, Oriental, Cedar Island and Ocracoke. Total installation and hardware cost about 20,000 according to David Herlong, an employee of the State Division of Emergency Management who is spearheading the project.  He says the money came from a fund designated to help with flood mitigation after Hurricane Irene. He says the equipment selected for the weather stations will feature less moving parts than other weather stations. Instead, things like wind and rainfall will be determined by a sensor that uses radio waves to detect motion.

Herlong says more stations are likely to be installed if money is made available.