Smartphone app helps drivers navigate flooded streets

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – If you’ve lived in Hampton Roads long enough, you’ve probably had to deal with street flooding. Figuring out how to get around the standing water can be tricky. Well, now there’s an app for that.

The Sea Level Rise App does exactly that, and it comes from a Norfolk-based, environmental non-profit group called Wetlands Watch.

Photos: Sea Level Rise App now available

“We thought, ‘why not give the citizens the tools to record where it’s getting wet, then we’ll have proof of it and begin to do something about it,” said Skip Steiles, executive director of the Wetlands Watch.

“It’s a homegrown Virginia product to solve a Virginia problem,” he said. “People who are too busy to come to meetings, millennials who don’t want to go to meetings, you got a phone app that plugs you into a virtual network.”

The app is not the only new technology out there to help you navigate storms. There are more ways than ever to enhance storm preparedness at your fingertips.

Steiles told about their efforts to develop their free app for anyone with an iPhone or iPad. And the network is already in the process of expanding.

“One of the next features we’re hoping to put in is a real-time trouble indicator. So, when we get storms like we’ve had and the city shuts down, people can identify which intersections are flooded and drive around it,” Steiles said. “If you’re connected to networks on this or that, why not be connected on one that deals with the problem we’ve got pretty much every month now, which is flooding.”

Another just released tech tool for storm preparation in the state comes from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. It’s not real-time, but a few clicks along the interactive map can help people in the Commonwealth identify areas with storm surge risk. It’s just one more way of connecting the dots to stay safe.

And remember there’s one more app you should add to your phone, if you haven’t already. To check Super Doppler 10 Radar anytime, download our free WAVY app for your smartphone or tablet.

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