CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — When a coastal storm is on its way, residents are mainly concerned with one thing: How will this affect my property and neighborhood?

A first-of-its-kind mapping system in New Jersey will change the way Cape May County residents prepare for an impending storm and the damaging floods it may bring.

"The emergency managers will use it detect low areas, problem areas. The public will use it see which streets are going to be flooding," Cape May County Emergency Management Director Martin Pagliughi told New Jersey 101.5.

Launching in the first months of 2019, the online flood risk mapping system will combine information from the National Weather Service with the county's own info on tides and water levels, and give folks a near-real time risk of flooding on local streets and neighborhoods.

"It'll actually show color-coding where the water will be in the street," Pagliughi said. "There's a lot of private property and car damage due to some of these floods."

The system not only informs on when a flood would potentially arrive, but also estimates the flow for the next four days.

The layered map also offers residents a layout of firehouses, rescue squads, police stations and shelters in case they need to navigate around waterlogged roadways.

The county OEM presented the program to its municipal partners during a meeting on December 13th. Pagliughi said the advanced system has also been shown to other counties, and he expects other areas of the state to take the same path.

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