Access to real-time information on flooding can improve resiliency and efficiency by allowing residents to identify navigable transportation routes and make informed decisions to avoid exposure to floodwater contaminants. While there exist commercially available sensors that detect the presence of water inside homes, there is an unmet need for hyperlocal information on the presence and depth of street-level floodwater. The Flood Sense project sees the development of an open source flood sensor that can be used to detect flooding across New York City.

These sensors have been developed to support the FloodNet sensor network project, a publicly-accessible platform that provides real-time flood information. The goals are to develop a flood sensor that overcomes common sensor challenges, as well as the digital infrastructure necessary to log, process, and present the data in combination with other publicly available information, such as rainfall data, 311 flooding complaints, and social media feeds. There are many potential applications of this proposal, including incorporation with the PIs’ ongoing research into potential exposure to sewage- associated pathogens following urban flood events.

Flooded street located in Gowanas area of Brooklyn.

Read more about the project here. 


This project is support by a C2Smart Grant through the C2Smart Research Center. This is a consortium researchers investigating urban informatics, connected technologies, behavioral informatics, and city partners.

This project is supported by the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership grant. This program is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office Technology & Innovation Portfolio, Empire State Development (ESD) and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and is a pilot program to facilitate the development and integration of emerging technologies into public services.