If a floodway on a regional road is filled in a rainstorm, how will motorists and councils recognise the danger before too late?
With climate change, extreme rain events are happening more and more frequently. Council floodways can become full in a matter of minutes. In dark conditions it is impossible to see the water until you drive into it.
In Australia, in 2022 alone, more than 20 people lost their lives in floodways. How do we prevent this?
OmniTabz Floodway warning systems provide flashing signals to warn motorists of the danger of increasing water depth as floodwaters rise. They also send messages back to Council so staff can attend the site to address safety concerns and provide advice on web page and media
In regional areas of Australia, many roads pass through places where floodwaters can cross over the roadway.
Floodways are relatively long, lowered, reinforced road sections that allow the controlled overflow of floodwater during the flood season. There are approximately 20,000 floodways across Australia.
However, floodways are not passable during high flood levels. Further, in very heavy rain, floodways can fill quickly, and motorists can be caught in deep or fast flowing waters, sometimes with fatal consequences.
Shire councils, when they become aware of flooding, send staff to the location to assess the danger and decide whether the road needs to be closed. Many hours can elapse between the road becoming flooded and the council being able to respond.
Councils need to know about dangerous flooding and warn motorists on the road as soon as possible of dangerous flooding ahead.
OmniTabz has developed a low-cost floodways detection solution. We install equipment into the floodway to monitor water depth and water flow. This equipment connects to councils, so that they can monitor the situation and pick up alerts from the solution. At the same time, illuminated signs light up when flooding occurs, alerting drivers of danger on the road ahead.
Many floodways sites have little or no network coverage (especially when serious weather disruptions or other events occur), and there is often no power available. Any solution deployed to such places must be self-powered and must continue to connect to the outside world under all circumstances.
Our solution is solar powered, and we have the ability to connect from the site using cellular, LoRaWAN and satellite. With the right combination, we can assure connectivity. Worst case, where all connections to the outside world are lost, our system can still independently provide warnings to local motorists.