StormSensor technology looks to improve flood prevention

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Floods rank as the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says 93 people lost there lives to flooding in 2019. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

  • Six inches of water can knock a lot of people of their feet
  • One foot of water can float many vehicles away
  • Two feet of water can carry away most cars and SUVs

Northeast Wisconsin is no stranger to floods. Recently, locally owned TitletownTech has invested in a start-up company known as StormSensor.

What is StormSensor? Erin Rothman, CEO of StormSensor says, “StormSensor creates sensors and software analytics that map how water moves through sewers, stormwater, and coastal systems.”

If the depth of water gets to high or the velocity gets to slow, StormSensor will send a notification to the city before the water actually floods and backs up.

Flash flooding can be caused by a variety of things, but most often heavy rainfall is the trigger.

Meteorologists often use the saying, “turn around don’t drown” when faced with the decision of driving through flooded waters. This is because most of the time, inside a vehicle, it is impossible to tell the true depth of the water in front of you.


“Northeast Wisconsin faces similar challenges to the northeastern United States and Midwest. We are dealing with heavy storms in the summer and the great lakes have higher water levels than normal,” Erin Rothman says. “Not only are you dealing with rain moving into your system at greater amounts, but you’re also with rising lake and river levels…now you have surface water moving into storm (drainage) system.”

PICTURES: Northeast Wisconsin flooding 2019
  • Rainfall causes street flooding in Calumet County
  • Cars_Stuck_In_Water_On_Flooded_Main_Stre_0_20180828232447
  • Courtesy of Local 5 Photojournalist Donald Roznowski-Flooding on Mason Street in Green Bay_1535503107458.jpg.jpg
  • Wisconsin_Flooding_79829-159532.jpg11225487
  • Brown County Flooding
  • Fondy_Flooding_6_20190314193525
  • Green Bay Flood Program

This year in Northeast Wisconsin, most areas are running at least two inches above average in terms of rainfall through the end of September.

The wettest month of the year here in Northeast Wisconsin, on average, comes in June. For flash flooding concerns, stick with Storm Team 5, on-air, and online.

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