HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) — For the past year and a half, the city of Hendersonville has been working on a plan to improve its response to flooding. According to the city’s Stormwater Division Manager Michael Huffman, there are several areas that are prone to flooding.

“Henderson County, in general, is pretty flat in comparison to some of the surrounding areas,” explained Huffman. “Hendersonville, in particular, is kind of in a bowl.”

This month, the city installed four radar sensors near waterways that flood frequently. They keep track of the water level and alert the city if the water is rising quickly and may result in a flood.

“It’ll send us an alert when water reaches a certain depth,” said Huffman.

The alert goes straight to Huffman’s cellphone. This information can help his team decide if they need to shut down roads or alert residents about potential flooding.

“That really helps us to be more efficient with where we’re sending our emergency personnel staff and set up barricades to block off certain roadways,” explained Huffman.”

The $24,000 project was funded by the city’s stormwater fees.

Before the sensors were installed, Huffman said the city relied on forecasting and gages installed by the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor flood risks.

“This will make it a lot simpler, we’ll have more detailed data and we’ll have more control,” said Huffman. “If we expand the network, we could potentially monitor every stream in the city.”

With Hendersonville getting rain every season, Huffman said the sensors will be put to good use.

“They’re definitely going to benefit us all year round,” said Huffman. 

How to sign up for flooding alerts

Hendersonville residents can sign up to receive flooding alerts from the city by texting AlertHVL to 226787.