A new way to monitor water levels in Greenbrier County was officially installed. To better alert people in times of high water and flooding, a stream gauge was placed on the Greenbrier Avenue Bridge in White Sulphur Springs, which spans Howard’s Creek.
West Virginia State Senator Stephen Baldwin said this is all in response to the deadly 2016 floods.
“God forbid if this does happen again, if it were to happen as badly, if it were to happen at night, if people didn’t realize how quickly the water was rising, we would know now,” Baldwin said.
The gauges can be monitored by anyone online. The data is something the Greenbrier County Homeland Security and Emergency Management keeps a close eye on, so alerts can be sent out if needed when heavy rain is expected in the forecast.
Baldwin works on the Legislative Committee for Flooding. He said there were many talks among his colleagues about how they can be as prepared as possible for a natural disaster.
“We had many meetings and hearings where we talked to experts and asked them what can we do to be better prepared. We know it’s going to happen again; it’s just a matter of when,” Baldwin said.
The stream gauge in Greenbrier County is the first of nearly 40 that will be installed across the state.
Funding for the stream gauges was allocated through the general budget. Baldwin explained there is yearly maintenance required to keep the gauges running correctly. Something that he is hopeful will be up for discussion in the next legislative session.
“We have the amount of money that we have had for maintenance in the past, but now we have new gauges, so there will be additional maintenance costs. So, that will have to be allowed for in the budget. I am hopeful it will be,” Baldwin said.
A stream gauge will be installed in Rainelle in the coming months.
People can monitor the stream gauges by clicking on this website.