Aerial Imagery Captures Hurricane Irma Flooding, Damage
Separate contracts for Florida DOT and Miami-Dade County
Woolpert, working under two separate contracts, collected and posted high-resolution, before-and-after imagery of areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma to assist with flooding and damage assessment. The initial imagery is available to the public at maps.woolpert.com/irma.
“Miami-Dade wanted imagery from after the event, documenting damage assessment, while FDOT wanted to see how high the water got at the peak of the flooding to gain current flood conditions,” says Mike Zoltek, Woolpert project manager. “For FDOT, we captured 1,000 square miles of imagery along the St. Johns River in a single day as the water was cresting. The imagery was collected across four counties — St. Johns, Duval, Putnam and Clay — from Palatka to Jacksonville.”
Miami-Dade County contracted with Woolpert for post-storm imagery as Hurricane Irma approached, while Woolpert’s work with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is part of an existing five-year, statewide contract for emergency mapping services.
The collections include 6-inch and 1-foot ground sampling distance (GSD) orthoimagery. The smaller the GSD, the higher the image resolution. As part of this process, Woolpert captured aerial imagery, processed the data, paired it with comparable imagery collected prior to the hurricane, delivered it to clients and posted it on a before-and-after online slider for use by anyone affected by the disaster.
The resulting online maps, aggregated with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Google, enable viewers to look up an address, navigate to an area of concern, and zoom in and out.
Woolpert, whose planes had just returned from mapping the devastation in Houston after Hurricane Harvey when contacted by Miami-Dade, credits the county for preparing for recovery efforts before the storm hit.
“By arranging these services prior to Irma making landfall, we were able to have our flight plans prepared and our planes ready and stationed nearby,” Zoltek says. “Understanding the needs of the customer allowed us to adjust to the shifting trajectory of the hurricane and quickly get our collection underway.”
Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that strategically blends engineering with technology and geospatial applications. With a dynamic R&D department, Woolpert works with business partners like Google; operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aerial systems (UAS); and continually works with advanced water technologies, asset management, building information modeling (BIM) and sustainable design. For more than 100 years and with 24 offices across the U.S., Woolpert serves the needs of federal, state and local governments; private and public companies and universities; energy and transportation departments; and the U.S. armed forces.