Rutherford Weekly

September 21, 2023

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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Thursday, September 21-September 27, 2023 828-248-1408 Rutherford Weekly - Page 11 The N.C. Department of Transportation's nationally recognized advance fl ood warning system is in the running for two top prizes, and the state agency needs the public's help to win one of the accolades. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Offi cials, or AASHTO, is recognizing the fl ood warning system as a "Top 12" fi nalist in the 2023 America's Transportation Awards competition. As a fi nalist, NCDOT is competing for two top honors – the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Awards. "Becoming a fi nalist is a tremendous testament to our department's commitment to resiliency, safety and innovation," Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette said. "This cutting-edge tool will help us be more prepared to respond to any storm and allow us to better communicate with our state and local partners and the traveling public about any hazardous situations that may arise due to fl ooding." Each award comes with a $10,000 cash prize to be donated to a charity to be determined. A nationwide panel of experts will determine the Grand Prize winner, while the People's Choice Award will be based on online voting from the public. How the public can vote People may cast a ballot for NCDOT's fl ood-warning system at https:// transpor m. c o m / a / g a l l e r y / r o u n d s / 3 5 / v o t e / 4 1 1 0 . Individuals may vote daily across multiple devices through Nov. 14. The winners for this year's Grand Prize Award and People Choice Award will be announced by AASHTO in November. In 2021, NCDOT won the Grand Prize for its Salem Parkway project, which involved the reconstruction of Interstate 40 Business in downtown Winston-Salem. Staff alerted of fl ooded bridge The fl ood warning system helps NCDOT staff prepare for, respond to and recover more quickly from a severe weather event. The system relies on a network of over 500 river or stream gauges and monitors more than 15,000 bridges and culverts and over 2,000 miles of state-maintained roads. The system, which is used internally by NCDOT staff, comprises three programs dubbed Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network for Transportation; BridgeWatch; and the Transportation Surge Analysis Predictive Program. Under this system, the Highway Division 14 bridge maintenance offi ce was alerted at 5:57 a.m. on June 20 about a bridge in Polk County in western North Carolina that had "a potential for fl ooding." Division crews scrambled to the site that morning, inspected it and immediately closed it to traffi c after confi rming the fl ooding from the storm had caused a critical foundation failure. The bridge will be replaced. "This system can alert us to critical information early on during a storm and potentially save lives," said Matt Lauffer, the state hydraulics design engineer for NCDOT. "The programs in our fl ood-warning system rapidly alert us to any problems that may be occurring to the roads, bridges and culverts we are monitoring." The NCDOT modeled the program, in part, after the N.C. Emergency Management's (NCEM) fl ood inundation mapping system that focuses on buildings that may fl ood in a storm. The NCDOT relies on NCEM's existing network of stream gauges, which cover over 2,000 miles of roadway, and elevation data to gather critical information. "This advance warning system is a testament to the great things that come when strong partners collaborate," said William Ray, director of the N.C. Division of Emergency Management. "Together, these systems are helping our agencies quickly respond to storms so we can better protect the public from major fl ooding events." Article Provided By: NCDOT This stream gauge over the Neuse River on N.C. 42 in Johnston County is one of several the NCDOT will rely on to gather data for a new early food-warning system. NCDOT's Early Flood Warning System Nominated for Top Prizes The North Carolina SECU Foundation awarded scholarship funding this month for students at Isothermal Community College (ICC) in nurse aide and other allied health programs. Offi cials from the State Employees Credit Union presented a check for $18,000 to college administrators last Friday. The funding is expected to help up to 30 students with books, class supplies and scrubs. "We appreciate this funding so much," said Tracey Evans, ICC's director of Nursing and Health Sciences. "When the students fi nd out this money is available to them, they just light up. They often are making so many sacrifi ces to make a better life for themselves and their families, so it's great to help them ease that burden in any way we can." The member-funded SECU Foundation introduced the program in 2018 to help students seeking to obtain careers with sustainable wages in their local communities. Administered by Isothermal, the initiative focuses on assisting individuals with fi nding vocational and job placement opportunities through eligible training programs that lead to state-regulated or industry-recognized credentials. Scholarship funding is applied to educational expenses and other expenditures associated with their program of study through a North Carolina Community College workforce development program. "This scholarship program goes to the heart of what SECU does in our communities," said Annette Blanton, SECU's district senior vice president. "It fi lls the gap with support for people to advance their careers, in turn making our communities better places." With the combined commitments for the SECU Bridge to Career and "People Helping People" Community College Scholarship programs, SECU Foundation funding for the NC Community College System totals over $1.6 million annually. Article Provided By: Jean Gordon. Photo Contributed. Offi cials from the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union Presented a check to Isothermal Community College this month. The funds will help defray costs for students in allied health programs. Pictured from left to right are Donna Hood, ICC's dean of Continuing Education; Dr. Greg Thomas, vice president of Student and Academic Affairs; Annette Blanton, SECU's senior vice president for the district; Chery Smith, vice president of the SECU Rutherfordton branch; and Tracey Evans, ICC's director of Nursing and Health Sciences. SECU Foundation awards funding to aid allied health students 2 column by 3 inch ad Color $65 ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS Call 828.248.1408 Areas largest circulation! Plus Digital Edition included! ONE BUY! NO EXTRA COST! *Actual size. Ask about multiple week discount. 2 column by 2 column by 3 inch ad 3 inch ad Black & White $57 Color $65 Color $65 Always Positive News! ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS

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