Flood Sirens

What is Flash Flooding

Flash flooding is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas including: rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or melted water from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields. Flash floods are distinguished from regular floods by having a timescale of less than six hours. Be cautious as water may be deeper and stronger than it appears. As always if you are driving, towards a low-crossing bridge: TURN AROUND; DON’T DROWN.

Flood Sirens

In September of 2015, WORD completed the flood warning system project from Canyon Lake into New Braunfels. Funding partners on the system are WORD, New Braunfels, Comal County, and Guadalupe County. This system has two components, river gauges and sirens.

The sirens are located throughout the Upper and Lower Guadalupe River. Each of the gauge sites at the siren locations has two pressure transducers which measure the river height. When that height gets above a set level, it will notify Emergency management, then automatically set off the siren. We also have the ability to set off the sirens remotely if we know water is headed downstream.

While the sirens are the more visible and talked about part of the system, the real power of the setup is in the gauges. The data from each gauge including river height and rainfall will be available online for everyone to monitor in very close to real time. This will allow businesses and residents to view the river height at each bridge crossing upstream from them and make safety decisions based on that data.

WORD is hopeful that adding this tool to the safety toolbox will make it easier for everyone to predict and react to rising water when it occurs.

Alerts and Testing Schedule

Monthly siren testing will occur on the first Tuesday of each month between 10 – 11 a.m. This will include sirens at the four bridge crossings and the Cove on River Road, the FM 306 Horseshoe at Maricopa, Nichol’s Landing, and the 311 Bridge. Sirens will sound for a maximum duration of 4 minutes.

In the event it rains, only the growl feature will be tested.