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Drones could soon help solve flood problems in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - The city is looking to advanced technology to help solve flood problems across East Baton Rouge Parish, partnering with a drone company to help map waterways from above.

"The city goes to FEMA to ask for funding to clear out debris in its major drainage ways," GIS manager Warren Kron said. "Part of the criteria is that you have to prove the debris wasn't there prior to the flood."

In order to monitor that debris, drones equipped with LiDar, a laser that shoots from the drone to the ground, bouncing back for an elevation reading, enabling programmers to turn the information into 3D images. Kron said the project has been helpful for more than just solving drainage issues.

"The engineering department can check the elevations of our bridges to make sure there's enough clearance underneath them, and then from my standpoint, being the geographic information system manager, I can use it to help me improve the data that we manage for the city."

So far, the drones have only mapped Dawson's Creek, but the city plans to get footage of more waterways if they get the funding.


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