Water is everywhere in Acadiana. Life is tied to our Bayous, Swamps, and Rivers but when heavy rain arrives so does the risk of flooding. One local professor is spearheading work to better prepare for when waters begin to rise.
Acadiana is no stranger to flooding. Whether it's an afternoon thunderstorm or a system dropping inches of rain it is not uncommon to see flooding in the region. While the threat for flooding is something that can be typically forecasted days in advance, students and researchers at UL are working on better ways to predict flooding with new types of technology.
“We developed and deployed a data-based, artificial intelligence, machine learning technology to be able to predict and forecast the amount of moisture in the soil so, how much moisture is in the soil.”
Talking to Dr. Habib he says that the AI-powered project provides very valuable data for a region like Acadiana that experiences flooding events frequently.
“Flooding has a direct impact on our economic development, the reliability of our communities. We are a coastal state and we are in that critical zone of compounded flooding as storms come from the Gulf; the hurricanes the storm surge and also intense rain from inland storms. The combination of these systems for Lafayette especially and all of the Acadiana region is critical.”
Last year the group won an award for their work in predicting soil moisture with the model which plays a key role in determining how much a region might flood. Dr. Habib says that along with their work, the group has been able to use their data to reach out to state and local sources to help them better prepare for flooding.
To view the Flooding forecast model you can visit the link here.