T.A.D. Pole is a flood alert system

A group of students in the Pocono Mountains (Pennsylvania, US) recently debuted an innovative flood alert system. 

Team FaBRICKators, which consists of two home-schooled students and five Stroudsburg Area School District students, met with several local government agencies to share ideas during the project’s design stage.

According to Christina Tatu of the Pocono Record, the device is essentially a pole with e-tape that measures water depth, or more precisely, the pressure of the water as it rises. The data is then processed by an Atmel-based Arduino board which displays the relevant information on a digital screen.

“At a level of 4-7 inches, the device turns on a yellow light to warn people that the area is starting to flood. At a level above 8 inches, it turns on a red light to warn people not to drive on the road,” Tatu explained. 

”A message can also be sent to a computer or cellphone. The T.A.D. Pole can be used in a basement or backyard to monitor flooding. It can also be installed on roads prone to flooding.”

13-year-old Jo Burch told the Pocono Record that the county’s Office of Emergency Management currently relies on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) numbers, which are typically updated every hour or so. However, NOAA only measures stream and water depths, rather than the conditions of local roads. 

Meaning, employees in emergency management offices have to physically visit flood-prone areas to view conditions on the ground.

Team FaBRICKators hopes the T.A.D. Pole – which reportedly cost a couple of hundred dollars to make – will ultimately help change the status quo of monitoring rising floodwaters.

Indeed, 13-year-old Nic Van Vilet told the Pocono Record the cost of the is device “minimal” if it helps people prevent flooding responsible for destroying property and precious belonging.

“Those are memories lost and you can’t put a price on memories,” he added.

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