Remote Sensing of First Floor Elevation for flood hazards

We are planning to be in the Simonsdale and Century Homes neighborhoods the week of January 23-27.

This letter is meant to serve as proof of work for drone surveying conducted by Arcadis in the City of Portsmouth, VA to develop methodologies that collect building attributes to inform flood hazard mitigation adaptations. This project aims to test remote sensing methods for obtaining the first-floor elevation (FFE) of residential buildings. The FFE is the elevation of the lowest habitable floor in which flooding will cause significant damage to the structure, contents, and quality of life of the homeowner.  

Our surveying is conducted with FAA Part 107 Remote Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) certified pilots to ensure the safety of the surveys. Arcadis has the proper airspace approval for UAS operations, and flight patterns are to avoid flying over nonparticipants or moving vehicles per 14 CFR Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The acting pilot, throughout any survey, will avoid flying over nonparticipants and moving vehicles with designated waypoints and/or pausing flight missions. Images collected from UAS surveys will not be distributed and will only be used for project testing purposes.

The work will also include a topographic survey performed by a licensed surveyor, Precision Measurements Incorporated (PMI). Staff activities will be limited to the right-of-way. Staff and their vehicles will adhere to proper safety requirements during the work, maintaining their visibility through safety vests and lights on the vehicles.

If you have any further questions on this project’s scope of work, please get in touch with the Arcadis Project Manager, John Millspaugh, at 757-419-3985   

Please see attached draft flyer that our team will have during the upcoming field activities for the FFE Pro Bono project. This will be shared with folks that may inquire about the activities while the team is performing the work. We will also have information to share with residents about Portsmouth’s larger flood resilience work and ways they can be a part of the Strategy process.

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