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IPLER responds to Hurricane Irene and Schoharie Creek Flood

Information Products Laboratory for Emergency Response (IPLER)

Research Leader
Chris S. Renschler

Information Products Laboratory for Emergency Response (IPLER) Mission

View IPLER introduction video on YouTube!

Rochester Institution of Technology (RIT) Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Research Assistants
Graham S. Hayes, Ryan Mendieta, Zhihao Wang

On 8/28/2011 Eastern New York was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irene. Many areas were flooded, buildings destroyed, and travel became impossible.

About a week later, LESAM received permission to tour the area. Our interest was in mapping the extent of the damage and collecting ground truth data. Flood inundation area were modeled using HEC-RAS, and matched with aerial imagery as well as FEMA flood scenarios. Additionally, tweets were sent when a signal was available. This was done to determine the cell network strength and availability and to find out the accuracy of location reported in different modes.

This album represents a handful of the images that were captured during our one day excursion. We started the day in Amsterdam and worked our way south to Prattsville, with each area being more damaged than the last.

Special thanks to Don Meltz and his Son who guided us safely through the region. (, @donmeltz on Twitter)

The Watershed Post is where we witnessed firsthand the devastation in the region (specifically this article:, where many people contributed damage reports of their vicinity via social media.

The mission of IPLER is to facilitate the communication of information user (emergency manager) needs to the technology and service provider community and conversely, inform users of the capabilities of new and emerging technologies to provide the information they need. The desired outcome is renewed growth of business opportunities for technology and service providers, and better decision making capabilities for incident managers.

More details regarding the IPLER initiative can be found here.