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Managing Director Mike Hopkins attended the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Stakeholder Forum at the DEFRA headquarters in Smith Square, London. Mike found the meeting interesting with a good variety of speakers who came across well in presenting the challenges that lie ahead in achieving the FCERM strategy goals. Mike realises that surveyors can play an important part in reaching the FCERM goals and has communicated that to DEFRA through a consultation paper which the Environment Agency have used to help form the FCERM strategy.

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Apart from strong tidal currents, weirs have to be one of the most dangerous places on a river, however they play a significant role in the control of flow and water levels. For this reason it is important that they are correctly represented in a computer model when predicting flood situations. Our surveyors have just carried out a batch of weir surveys on the River Wey and have provided the model data to the client in a format that has allowed the user to quickly incorporate the weirs into an existing model and start producing model outputs straight away.

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Lots of gauging stations surveyed this month for the Environment Agency Thames Region. Full 3D models of each site were surveyed in northern areas of the region. Surveyors have provided the client with full topographical data within the ownership of each site to produce a plan that can be used for either engineering purposes or asset management. Critical levels of the sites were also recorded to ensure that data collected on the instrumentation within the hut is reliable for flood warnings and flow control.

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Measurements in tough conditions especially in and around water are the challenges that the surveyors of Storm Geomatics thrive on. Our surveyors were invited back to the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace this year to accurately measure the World Spey Casting Championships. Competitors from all over the world come to the Game Fair to compete for the world crown of Spey casting. There are big cash prizes and sponsorship deals up for grabs to those successful enough to be placed in the top three. 

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Chigwell Brook

Storm Geomatics Surveyors have been out surveying Chigwell Brook this month. They have completed approximately fifty cross sections along a mixed urban/rural watercourse. This project was very challenging as access to some of the key structures was difficult. The survey team battled on and got the project completed in good time. Vegetation at this time of year also poses a threat to survey deadlines as surveyors take time to cut back foliage in order to expose the points of detail that the clients require.

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Soon you will be able to make a cable car journey across the River Thames from the O2 Arena on the south bank to the Royal Victoria Docks on the north bank. Storm Geomatics have carried out the survey of the bed levels of the river and the dock in preparation for the construction of the huge cable supports. The dock survey was undertaken in a small aluminium boat and the river survey in a high powered rib. The high power of the rib was needed as the pull on the tide at this point in the river is extremely fierce.

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Between the chocolate of Easter and the champagne of The Royal Wedding the surveyors at Storm had a change of scenery - a scour protection survey on a railway bridge at Pevensey, East Sussex. Surveyors filled the three day gap in festivities with a full topographic survey of the area beneath and around the structure and also a Hec-RAS model extending 1km downstream. The data is to be used to design benching on the bridge abutments and address wing wall issues. The survey was carried out at short notice and the data processed fast to allow the engineer to keep his side of the project on track.

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Storm Geomatics started the New Year with a resolution to improve their quality and range of services that they provide to the water industry. To help achieve this goal, feedback and ideas have been asked for by clients. A river survey questionnaire was sent to seventy hydraulic engineers and the results are now available (You can get them by emailing us from the contact link at the top of this page).

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Mike Hopkins - Managing Director of Storm Geomatics has been elected as a council member at The Survey Association (TSA). TSA is the trade organisation for survey companies throughout the UK. Mike's first job was to attend an All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on Flood Prevention at the Houses of Parliament. The meeting was incredibly interesting to Mike as Lord Smith (Chair of the Environment Agency) was there to answer questions from MPs and give an update on flood prevention strategies for the future.

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Leica VIVA gear

Storm Geomatics have completed a relatively smooth transition from the Leica 1200 equipment to the new Leica VIVA gear. With good support from the manufacturer on the configuration of the equipment the survey teams were up and running in no time. The new kit has been used on a variety of projects already this year, one of which was a volumetric survey of an 8.5 acre lake. The kit was coupled up with the single beam echo sounder to capture over 800 bed levels of the former quarry pit, producing a highly accurate model of the lake, thus returning a volume calculation with good integrity.

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