Houston TranStar Expands Benefit of Local Roadway Flood Warning System

Anticipating an active year ahead for storms in the Atlantic, Houston TranStar reminds residents to prepare for the 2020 Hurricane Season by downloading its mobile app, a tool that shows real-time traffic data and estimates areas of roadway flooding risk during heavy rainfall.

Developed in partnership with the Harris County Flood Control District and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute after Hurricane Harvey, TranStar’s Roadway Flood Warning System displays real-time data from 283 weather sensors, an increase of 76 sensors from 2019.

“Expanding the Roadway Flood Warning System’s footprint into counties adjacent to Harris allows us to warn even more people about potentially dangerous roadway flooding,” said Dinah Massie, Executive Director for Houston TranStar. “Information collected by this highly accurate technology is overlaid on the TranStar Traffic Map and mobile application. We’re warning motorists about flood risk and also helping emergency crews respond more quickly and safely during heavy rainfall.”

To date, more than 125,000 people get up-to-the-minute roadway flood warning alerts using TranStar’s mobile app.

TranStar’s Roadway Flood Warning System was developed to warn motorists of streets with potentially high water so that alternative routes can be planned and dangerous situations avoided. The system uses a comprehensive network of 283 sensors to estimate areas of roadway flooding risk and can be easily accessed through the TranStar Traffic Map.

With the addition of new sensors, Houston TranStar now alerts travelers to areas where roadway flooding risk is high in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Brazoria and Galveston counties.

Don McKinney, vice president of public safety for Westchase District, says the system’s benefits are numerous, from a critical tool for logistics to life-saving efforts. “If made aware of flooding in a certain area, commuters can reroute their transit. Further, motorists can be made aware of the flooding and know to avoid flooded roadways and underpasses. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of authorities, many people have lost their lives driving into flood waters that weren’t visible to the driver because of darkness, heavy rain or some other factor not under their control,” said McKinney.

Maintained by the Harris County Flood Control District, the Brazoria Drainage District, the City of Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, the Galveston Drainage District, Waller County and the San Jacinto River Authority, these sensors increase capacity to monitor water levels for possible local street inundation throughout TranStar’s region.

For more information on how to Travel Smart with TranStar, visit HoustonTranStar.org or download our Mobile App at the Google Play or Apple App store.

Houston TranStar is a unique partnership of representatives from the City of Houston, Harris County, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) who share resources and exchange information under one roof to provide transportation management and emergency management to help keep motorists informed, roadways clear and lives safe in the fourth most populated city in the United States.


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