First Flood Watch Program Using Remote Video Cameras

Stream Levels Monitored and Broadcast Using Time Warner Cable Business Class Intelligent Connections

June, 2013 | Kansas City, MO



Recently in Kansas City, Missouri floodwaters rushed just below the Turkey Creek bridge at Southwest Boulevard, but city workers, alerted by a new monitoring system, kept motorists out of harm’s way. The new remote flood watch program, which uses high-tech cameras similar to those in F-16 jets, is the culmination of 18 months of work by the Kansas City Office of Emergency Management and Time Warner Cable Business Class.

This groundbreaking program is expected to save lives, time and money. The video cameras focus on water level markers strategically placed at 10 sites throughout the city. The video images are carried via cable to Time Warner Cable Business Class, where they are stored on a server. Emergency Operations Center personnel use high-speed Internet to access and monitor the images from their homes or a bank of monitors in the City’s Emergency Operations Center. If flood waters reach a potentially dangerous level, City workers can be dispatched to barricade bridges and streets.

“The best way to save lives is to not allow traffic to approach high water areas,” says D.A. Christian, Emergency Manager. “These video cameras are the key to preventing needless tragedies.”







The Solution

Time Warner Cable Business Class designed a solution for Kansas City by using existing technology in an extraordinary way. One of the biggest challenges was finding a camera that offered night vision and could withstand the elements. The near-infrared camera used is the civilian counterpart to one used by the military in the rear of F-16 jets. Each camera acts like a mini-computer by capturing images, converting them to data and transferring it over the Internet to Time Warner Cable Business Class servers.

City personnel in the EOC , using high-speed Internet, log in with passwords to view the images. A large screen in the EOC displays a multiplex view of up to 16 images. The images captured by each camera are displayed on one side of the screen while a map noting the camera’s location and identification is on the other. The screen can be adjusted to show images from up to four locations.


This unique system represents a cooperative effort to use technology to improve public safety in a community that is prone to flash floods in some locations. Time Warner Cable Business Class donated the hours to design, test and deploy this system during the development stage at no cost to the City. In just over one month, a product was ready for testing by the Emergency Operations Center.

Since its roll-out in May 2004, the system has been brought into play many times – preventing possible tragedies. Plans to enhance the system are in development, including adding remote control gates that EOC personnel can trigger with the push of a button.


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