Just a week shy of the anniversary of a catastrophic “thousand-year” rain in South Carolina, Woolpert’s video on its groundbreaking disaster relief efforts employed immediately following that event has been recognized.
“Aerial Imagery Assists Flood Disaster Response in South Carolina, and in Record Time,” a video by Woolpert Project Director Brian Bates, received an Interactive Knowledge Exchange (IKE) Award from WEFTEC 2016 in the Technical Category.
WEFTEC is the Water Environment Federation’s annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, and was held in late September, 2016, in New Orleans.
The video details the actions Woolpert took in the wake of the flooding in which 36 dams failed, 19 people were killed and 20,000 people displaced.
The firm collected perishable orthoimagery and lidar and was able to share that information on a website and app within two days of the disaster.
“We wanted to fly the imagery as quickly as possible, process it as quickly as possible and, while it was being flown and processed, simultaneously work on developing a web viewer that would allow us to share it with both the client and the public as soon as it was ready,” said Chris Morabito, Woolpert software developer, in the video.
The information collected, layered with previous imagery of the site, showed a vivid before-and-after map of the region and clearly outlined the devastation caused by the flood.
“When Brian came to show me the data and the app that was used, and I could see the areas that I grew up in and areas I visit on a daily basis and to be able to zoom in and see those areas, it was very impactful,” South Carolina Rep. Beth Bernstein said in the video. “I’m not a technical person so when I saw this, it really showed me the devastation before and after.”
Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).