County to Enhance Emergency Preparedness

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

April 9, 2007

County to Enhance Emergency Preparedness By Contracting for Flood Response, Monitoring and Signalization System

Following today’s Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services will contract for the design of a monitoring and signalization system for Fairfax County. In addition, integrated flood response plans utilizing the data provided by the system will be developed, which will enhance emergency preparedness and response for areas in Fairfax County with the potential for extensive flooding and associated property damage.

The project includes detailed design and specifications for gauges and sensors to be located at nine sites within Fairfax County that may be subject to extensive flooding, including the six Public Law 566 dams, the dam at Reservoir 2A (Fairview Lake) and two other locations in the county – Huntington and Belle View, which have been impacted by flooding.

An additional component of the system is a PC-based data monitoring and collection system, which will generate automated alerts when potential flooding events are developing. The system is scalable and allows for the installation of additional gauges and sensors throughout the county capable of both emergency and environmental monitoring. The county is working with the National Weather Service and will share data that can be used by the NWS to generate severe weather and flooding alerts.

As part of the system design, a site-specific flood response plan will be developed for each location. Data collected by the system will be coordinated with and incorporated into improved emergency action plans. The flood response plans also will be validated through multi-agency emergency response exercises.

The $390,000 contract is with HDR Engineering Inc. and is good for a five-year period with the option to add additional sites and services if warranted. This project is the first phase of a system capable of real-time monitoring and recording of stream, lake, tide and rainfall conditions. In addition to enhanced public safety the information collected by the system will also provide valuable information needed to monitor and improve the quality of streams and manage existing county stormwater infrastructure. 

For more information about the contract, contact Randy Bartlett in the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, at 703-324-5500, TTY 711. 


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