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Florida Researchers Track Hurricane Joaquin Aftereffects With Phone App

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Hurricane Joaquin is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding along the Atlantic coast. Photo: The Weather Channel.

Hurricane Joaquin is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding along the Atlantic coast. Photo: The Weather Channel.

 As the Atlantic Coast feels the effects of Hurricane Joaquin, Florida researchers are preparing to use a free mobile app to track tidal flooding. The new technology uses crowd sourcing to gather data on the aftereffects of major weather events on the state’s sea level.

Stetson University environmental science professor Jason Evans is coordinating the local use of the app, called Sea Level Rise, which uses GPS technology to locate tidal flooding nearby.

“Basically, it’s just going to drop pins from the GPS,” he says. “You can also take a picture with your phone. It’s going to be marked as well within the app and then you just upload all of that into a centralized space that basic people like me can go in. I can access that data.”

Wetlands Watch, an organization based in Virginia, developed the app as part of growing concerns about sea level rise there. This is the first time data is being collected in other states with similar concerns.

“There was just this decision to try to mobilize people regionally to go out and actually really try to document what’s going to happen with the hurricane. The ready kind of availability of this technology is really helping to move this fast and forward,” says Evans.

For him and his research team, the app will let people know about the state’s sea level, which he predicts could rise up to five feet within the next 100 years.

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Renata Sago

About Renata Sago


Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional anchor. Her reporting runs the gamut and has been heard on NPR, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America, and American Public Media. The Chicago native began her career in public radio as an intern for Worldview, WBEZ-FM's daily ... Read Full Bio »