New Orleans Installs New High Sierra Electronics’ Flood Warning System

The City of New Orleans has installed a new automated Flood Early Warning System comprising High Sierra Electronics’ sensors, weather stations, and roadway warning signs. The High Water Detection Systems (HWDS), installed at 12 underpasses throughout the City, continuously monitor rainfall and water level data in real time and are designed to improve public safety.

Advanced High Water Detection System Monitors Around the Clock

Motorists often underestimate how quickly and deep the water can get at the low-lying underpasses.
Motorists often underestimate how quickly and deep the water can get at the low-lying underpasses.

It doesn’t take much rain for the underpasses in the City to flood during heavy or sustained rain storms. Motorists often underestimate how quickly and deep the water can get and can find themselves stuck when their vehicle stalls out in high water. All too often, first responders and emergency crews have had perform water rescues at these underpasses.

The new advanced warning system detects and monitors real-time rainfall and rising water conditions around the clock in each of the high-risk areas. As certain conditions and thresholds are exceeded, the system automatically triggers “road closed” signage and beacon warning lights to alert drivers to the flooding hazard. Data from the various sensors and weather stations are continuously collected 24/7 by Contrail® web-based software. As well as providing visualization to City personnel, the software automatically processes, analyzes, and monitors this information for potential flooding and sends automatic alerts and detailed notifications to relevant City personnel and emergency responders to give them advance warning of impending flood conditions.

High Water Detection Warning Sign
New automated High Water Detection and Flood Warning System includes “Road Closed” signs and flashing beacons during roadway flooding events to warn motorists

Beyond warning motorists to turn around, the flood warning system will also provide an additional layer of critical, real-time information to the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, and the National Weather Service during storms. Each installation includes a weather station that measures the real-time rate of rainfall, rainfall total, temperature, and wind speed at the underpass location.

“Impacts from storms can be highly localized,” said NOHSEP Director Collin Arnold. “Having twelve calibrated weather stations spread throughout the city will give our emergency managers and our drainage partners significantly more situational awareness to make critical and timely decisions during storms.”

Road closure data from the flood warning system will also eventually be displayed publicly on the City’s real-time road hazard website, streetwise.nola.gov, enabling motorists to plan ahead.

The system is scalable, so as funds become available, additional locations of frequent street flooding will be considered for installation.

More on this story can be viewed on the City of New Orleans website here.

Video: Watch WWL-TV coverage of new flood warning system for City of New Orleans
Video: Watch WWL-TV coverage of new flood warning system for City of New Orleans

 

 

Contrail® is a registered trademark of OneRain Incorporated, a sister company of High Sierra Electronics, Inc. High Sierra Electronics and OneRain are part of the AE Monitoring family of innovators.

Davis Instruments Joins the AE Monitoring Family of Companies

Davis Instruments Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of precision weather, marine, and environmental instrumentation, joins the AE Monitoring family of companies.

Boston, MA – July 31, 2019. Union Park Capital, a Boston based private equity firm focused on lower middle-market industrial technology investments, today announced the acquisition of Davis Instruments Corporation (“Davis”), based in Hayward, CA. For over 50 years, Davis has been recognized as a leader in developing and manufacturing precision weather, marine and environmental instrumentation. With customers across the global, Davis has become the trusted brand for meteorologists, educators, farmers, students, and discerning hobbyists. The business will join Union Park’s Advanced Environmental Monitoring platform (“AE Monitoring”), and will partner with the current businesses within the AE Monitoring family, including OneRain, High Sierra, Vieux & Associates, FTS, and Lambrecht Meteo. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to have Davis join the AE Monitoring family. Davis has a strong product offering and history of excellent customer service,” says Peter McGuire, Partner & Co-Founder at Union Park Capital. Davis is the world leader in weather stations for agriculture and discerning hobbyists. “The value of their product is unmatched within the customer applications they target,” said Peter.

“We are very excited for Davis to join the Advanced Environmental Monitoring family,” says Jim Acquistapace, former owner of Davis Instruments. “Becoming part of a larger platform will allow the business to take advantage of collaborations with AE Monitoring’s other companies in meteorology, hydrology, and broader environmental monitoring parameters. Davis has best in class product development, world class manufacturing, and a broad set of potential applications and end markets to take its products. As a part of the AE Monitoring family, I am excited to see Davis continue to grow and innovate across these large global market opportunities.”

About Davis Instruments Corporation
Davis Instruments was founded in 1963 and has become recognized throughout the world for manufacturing affordable, precision weather and marine instruments to meet the needs of value-minded professionals and consumers who demand the best. From the sleek, full-featured Vantage Vue to the customizable, industrial-grade Vantage Pro2 to the market leading Windex Wind Vane, Davis Instruments has engineered products for meteorologists, educators, farmers, students, and discerning hobbyists. For more information, visit www.davisinstruments.com.

About Advanced Environmental Monitoring Holdings
Advanced Environmental Monitoring Holdings (AE Monitoring) was formed by Union Park Capital in 2018 to create a family of companies focused on monitoring of critical environmental parameters, including meteorology, hydrology, air, and soil. Social demands for environmental responsibility continue to increase, leading to growing initiatives and regulations for the development of environmental friendly industries, increased focus on disaster prevention and extreme weather (floods, hurricanes, droughts, thunderstorms, etc.), and advances in technology enabling real-time, more accurate monitoring in hazardous applications and environments. For more information, visit www.aemonitoring.com.

About Union Park Capital
Union Park Capital is a private equity firm solely focused on lower middle-market industrial technology companies. Union Park takes a long-term perspective to help stakeholders build value over time and drives value creation through profitably growing a business, not financial engineering. Union Park Capital is based in Boston, MA, and has extensive investments and expertise in the analytical instrumentation sector. For more information, visit www.union-park.com.

Flooded Road Safety – New High Water Detection System for City of McKinney Texas

The City of McKinney, Texas, will install an automated High Water Detection System (HWDS) in areas close to Wilson Creek that have a history of flash flooding. During heavy or sustained rainfall events, water in the Wilson Creek rises rapidly causing several roadways in the City to flood with little or no warning. The new HWDS system, designed by High Sierra Electronics (hsierra.com), collects data in real time from several water level sensors and then triggers flashing lights to signal to motorists that it’s dangerous to cross the road. The move by the City is to help improve public safety by providing advance warnings to motorists and pedestrians that flooding is imminent or occurring. The project is in cooperation with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

 

Driver safety during roadway flooding is of great importance. Since 2015, the City’s emergency management team has made five rescues where vehicles on these roads have been swept away in the water caused by road flooding.

The High Water Detection System (HWDS) solution, comprising water level sensors, flashing lights and signage, will be installed at five points along two roads near the Wilson Creek. The system is fully integrated for 2-way communication with Contrail software by OneRain, to track the rising waters and help emergency responders and City public works staff to make better decisions about potential flood risks. As the water rises to pre-determined levels, the signs and flashers will activate to warn drivers and pedestrians about the potential of flooding or that it is happening.

Data from the HWDS, along with other regional data, will be accessible to the public via Contrail online portal where users will be able to check the status of the roadways prior to traveling.

mckinney-high-water-detection-system
See more on this news with a report by Ben Russell, NBC5 News, Dallas-Fort Worth

 

About High Sierra Electronics
High Sierra Electronics was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Grass Valley, California, with additional offices in San Antonio and Fort Worth, TX, and Louisville, KY. High Sierra specializes in flood warning sensors, equipment, and transmitters for public and improved traffic safety. For more information visit www.hsierra.com.

#floodwarning #hwds #roadweather #lowwatercrossing #roadflooding #texasflooding

 

FTS Joins the AE Monitoring Family of Companies

FTS, a leading manufacturer of fire weather and remote environmental monitoring solutions, joins the AE Monitoring family of companies.

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – January 2, 2019. Union Park Capital, a Boston based private equity firm focused on lower middle-market industrial technology investments, today announced the acquisition of Forest Technology Systems, Ltd. (“FTS”), based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. FTS is a leading manufacturer of remote environmental monitoring solutions including systems, instrumentation, telemetry and software for the Hydrology, Fire Weather and Meteorology industries. The business will join Union Park’s Advanced Environmental Monitoring Holdings platform (“AE Monitoring”), which was launched in March 2018. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“FTS is an exceptional addition to the AE Monitoring family,” says Peter McGuire, Partner & Co-Founder at Union Park Capital. FTS is the world leader in environmental monitoring solutions for predicting, preventing, and managing wildfires. FTS stations are used by all the top 50 government forest management agencies in the United States and Canada. “Their technical capabilities and deep application knowledge are unmatched,” said Peter. In addition to fire weather, FTS designs, manufactures and services sensors, dataloggers, camera systems, IoT software and mobile applications.

“Joining AE Monitoring is a great opportunity for FTS,” says FTS CEO David Reid. “Our mission will continue to be making our customers successful in their efforts to monitor, record, and analyze changes in the natural environment.” Mr. Reid will continue as CEO after the acquisition as will the entire FTS management team. “This is great news for our customers, employees and sales network. AE Monitoring provides us a platform to accelerate growth and deliver a broader solution set to our customers.”

About FTS Forest Technology Systems, Ltd.
FTS was founded in 1980 with a focus on the fire weather meteorological niche. Since then, FTS has become a leading manufacturer of remote environmental monitoring systems, instrumentation and communications technology for the Hydrology, Fire Weather and Meteorology industries. FTS is the world leader in environmental monitoring solutions for fire weather. The company’s headquarters, research and design lab, and manufacturing plant are located in Victoria, British Columbia, with a branch office in Blaine, Washington. For more information, visit www.ftsinc.com.

About Advanced Environmental Monitoring Holdings
Advanced Environmental Monitoring Holdings (AE Monitoring) was formed by Union Park Capital in 2018 to create a family of companies focused on monitoring of critical environmental parameters, including meteorology, hydrology, air, and soil. Social demands for environmental responsibility continue to increase, leading to growing initiatives and regulations for the development of environmentally friendly industries, increased focus on disaster prevention and extreme weather (floods, hurricanes, droughts, thunderstorms, etc.), and advances in technology enabling real-time, more accurate monitoring in hazardous applications and environments. For more information, visit www.aemonitoring.com.

About Union Park Capital
Union Park Capital is a private equity firm solely focused on lower middle-market industrial technology companies. Union Park takes a long-term perspective to help stakeholders build value over time and drives value creation through profitably growing a business, not financial engineering. Union Park Capital is based in Boston, MA, and has extensive investments and expertise in the analytical instrumentation sector. For more information, visit www.union-park.com.

Driver Safety During Roadway Flooding

Safe to Proceed: Roadway Flooding Solution
Author: Frank Gutierrez, Regional Sales Manager at High Sierra Electronics, Inc. for South Central/Southeast U.S.A. 

 

Flooding causes more deaths and property damage in the U.S. than any other severe weather related event¹. The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles, which includes pick-up trucks and SUVs.

 

Texas is prone to extremely heavy rains and flooding with half of the world record rainfall rates (accumulations in 48 hour less). It also has the distinction of being the state with the most flood-related deaths in the past thirty-six years. Bexar County in Central Texas, about 190 miles west of Houston, is particularly vulnerable because storms stall along the Balcones escarpment. This region has earned the nickname “flash flood alley”. Due to this geography, floods are a natural hazard and a regular occurrence.

In order to better prepare residents, Bexar County officials implemented a High Water Detection System (HWDS) in 2007. The High Sierra Electronics, Inc. (HSE) system has evolved over the years and now includes more than 100 sites. It uses a combination of rainfall and water level gauges to monitor conditions at low points on the roadways. When water rises to a pre-determined unsafe level, the sensor(s) automatically trigger flashing beacons and/or barrier gates. The system is solar powered and works during power outages (i.e., extreme weather events). The system provides control even in remote locations and County officials can receive text or email alerts when the system is activated.

 

Bexar County HWDS
Bexar County Texas Macaway High Water Detection System (HWDS) by High Sierra Electronics, Inc.

 

Information from the HWDS feeds a Bexar County public web site known as HALT, High Water Alert Lifesaving Technology. The HALT system is a tool used to warn drivers when there is too much water over the roadway to help prevent a potential drowning disaster. The public is encouraged to visit https://www.bexarflood.org/#!/main/map where a map displays current flood information and emergency road closures. More specific information can be obtained by clicking (highlighting an area) on the map or entering a location. Alerts via a Twitter feed are also available.

Likewise, the City of San Antonio (within Bexar County) has implemented their own program known as SAFE, San Antonio Flood Emergency. The City emphasizes being prepared, being informed, being safe. They utilize HSE’s HWDS in the same manner with flashing beacons and automatic barrier gates. In neighboring Comal County, HSE was awarded a contract in 2010 for a similar project involving the installation of more than thirty stations. Plans are currently underway in coordination with the City of New Orleans’ Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) to deploy 24 stations with flashing beacons in August 2018.

 

(1) NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018). https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/

 

 

About High Sierra Electronics
High Sierra Electronics was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Grass Valley, California, with additional offices in San Antonio and Fort Worth, TX, and Louisville, KY. High Sierra specializes in flood warning sensors, equipment, and transmitters for public and improved traffic safety. For more information visit www.hsierra.com.

 

Guadalupe River Flood Siren System Project

High Sierra Electronics was awarded a project to improve the Guadalupe River Flood Siren System.  The project is a cooperative effort between The Water Orientated Recreational District of Comal County, the City of New Braunfels, Comal County’s Engineering Office, and Guadalupe County.  In addition to river gauge stations, the system includes several warning sirens that will automatically activate when the water level rises to a pre-determined unsafe level.