What drones predicting flooding could mean for you

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For the past couple of years, Texas A&M Galveston graduate student Nick Diaz has been working on a project using a drone to look at flooding on the island.

He goes out and takes pictures of the homes using the drone to look at their elevation and where the water goes.

"It's incredible," said Diaz. "Technology is advancing so fast."

When doing the survey, the drone essentially talks to another device on the ground, called an RTK head. Together, they calculate the elevation and turn the pictures into a 3D model.

Diaz is working with the City of Galveston. He hopes his research will help create better flood maps and maybe allow for homeowners to adjust their flood insurance rates with a more accurate reading of how high their home sits.

"You're able to go in, click on the home and get the elevation for that home. We're hopefully going to gather a lot of data to give to decision makers to make better flood maps," said Diaz.

Diaz tells ABC13 the drone technology is more efficient and more accurate in measuring elevation. He says it's the future.

"Using the technology to your advantage, collecting data, and helping flooding," said Diaz.

So far, he's looked at four different, diverse communities on the island with about 400 homes in each. He says he's hopeful to collect even more data in the future.

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