Scientists hoping to learn from potential Hurricane Michael tidal effects

Updated: Oct. 8, 2018 at 4:15 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Sensors are being placed around the county that have an ultra-sonic signal that shoots down from wherever the box is mounted to the surface of the water, measuring how high the tide gets.

The plan had been to set up 20 of these sensors next month, but with a storm coming in from the Gulf, the lead researcher over the sensor project knew it was an opportunity he didn’t want to pass.

The sensors will look at water levels and give scientists real-time tidal data during high-tide and weather events, like tropical storms and hurricanes.

It’s a part of a Smart Cities research program, bringing together researchers, CEMA officials, and the City of Savannah, all looking at ways to apply that data to benefit the community in the future.

“To know where to focus resources, to know where to be prepared when the storms come, and basically to have that experience when we have a storm approaching from the Gulf versus from the Atlantic,” said Dr. Russ Clark, Senior Research Scientist, Georgia Tech. "We’re going to see a slightly different pattern and we want to know how exactly that’s going to affect the local community.”

The sensor Dr. Clark had on Monday is now placed at one of the docks at the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

The goal is to get about 100 of those sensors around the county by sometime next year.

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