Flood Watch Monitoring and Observations for a High Hazard Dam – a Microsoft O365 Solution

Jennifer McGee, PE, CFM, GISP, Water Resources Engineer, Wood PLC

Chris Stone, Stormwater Chief, Loudoun

A ‘High Hazard’ dam has the potential to cause loss of human life or damage to critical infrastructure if there were to be  a failure of the structure.  These structures require regular monitoring and specific observations during flood watch alerts and other high-risk events per the Virginia Dam Safety Act and outlined in the required  Emergency Action Plan for each specific dam.  To make sure a relevant flood watch is not missed, we wanted to develop an automated way to monitor the National Weather Service API and notify our on-call team.  Then we built out a full digital solution to allow us to easily record observation measurements, log everything in a central location and immediately notify our client POC of the results so additional actions can be taken if needed.

This presentation will review how we are using the Microsoft Power Platform and Azure Logic Apps to monitor the NWS API for Flood Watch Alerts and coordinate our on-call team to perform safety observations.  This is a modular build concept where each piece can be updated as needed to add new functionality.  While the high hazard dam monitoring is being used as an example project, this presentation will provide a general overview of the Office 365 suite of applications and provide some ideas for how you might adapt these ideas for your own projects.

Author Bio

Jennifer McGee is a Water Resources Engineer (PE) with Wood PLC in the Washington DC, US office. She has an interdisciplinary background that also includes GIS analysis, database design and python programming. Daily work focuses on a variety of flood risk analysis projects to meet regulatory needs of clients. She utilizes Microsoft's Office 365 and other digital technologies to develop data science solutions for business operations and engineering projects. She also leads Wood’s O365 Community (in Teams) to share training and project applications for O365 technology across the company.

Chris Stone is part of the Stormwater Team, which is located within the Department of General Services. The Stormwater Team is authorized to conduct stormwater maintenance projects within the county and ensures compliance with the MS4 permit. Other duties include regulatory compliance for county-owned and/or operated dams.