hampton roads-tidewater virginia


Fort Monroe Tide Gauge Station (New)

Published: August 13, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Fort Monroe Authority, has installed a new tide gauge station at Fort Monroe to help emergency planners protect the shorelines in the Hampton Roads region.

Tide gauges provide real-time water levels and local meteorology data in areas that are susceptible to the effects of storm-tide flooding. The sensors are arranged in long lines perpendicular to the coast to help measure how local topography, natural features and land use can affect flood damage and wave heights.

USGS tide gauges deliver up-to-the-minute data that are critical to the National Weather Service and other partners, like the Navy and Coast Guard, who conduct operations at sea, issue flood warnings, and initiate evacuation orders for communities.

The monitoring station, to be located at the former Navy Pier at Fort Monroe, will provide decision makers long-term water level data and real-time warnings of storm surge. The system was funded entirely by federal dollars under the Hurricane Sandy response, which was the main catalyst for making this effort possible.

Hurricane Sandy's landfall affected many coastlines from the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, including Virginia. Coastal changes, such as beach erosion, over-wash deposition and island breaching, occurred along the Virginia shoreline.

Before, during and after hurricanes or tropical storms, the USGS applies earth and ecosystem science to measure the height and intensity of the storm surge. The water level and surge collected provides critical information used to forecast floods, test water quality and determine evacuation routes.

Real-time data is readily accessible through the USGS National Water Information System webpage. Additionally, the USGS WaterAlert service allows the public to receive data via e-mail or text (SMS) messages after subscribing.

Information on all the tide gauges located throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, including the Hampton area, can be accessed through the USGS National Water Information System webpage.

source: U.S. Geological Survey