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Snow in the week leading up to Christmas gave most parts of the country a seasonal feel. Rivers and lakes froze and gave Storm Geomatics the perfect opportunity to take a days training on their brand new Leica Viva equipment. The team can be seen in the photo to the right, proving the kit does work in -5 degrees C! The new survey gear will keep the company working to the very highest accuracies and improve productivity as faster processors, quicker motors and improved algorithms go to work in the field.

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Storm Geomatics caught up with the Leica road show at Cheltenham racecourse this month. Leica supply Storm Geomatics with the survey equipment they need to capture the data and information in the field for our clients. The latest generation of the kit is the Viva TS15 which has an imaging facility and talks to you! It has quicker processors and allows hand written notes to be made on the screen. The road show was very well attended and was extremely well organised which has got a lot of people talking about the new Viva kit.

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Surveyors ventured back into Wales this month to survey some monster control structures that regulate water entering the River Vyrnwy. Critical levels and dimensions were captured on structures to improve the integrity of the river models in the area.

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St Austell

Surveyors just missed the holiday season on the Cornish Riviera when they mobilised to model seven rivers in and around St Austell. Teams provided a staged delivery of the data so the client could start working on river models in parallel with the survey. Unfortunately the only beaches the surveyors saw were where the rivers met the sea!

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Japanese knotweed

Rivers in South Wales are being infested with Japanese knotweed. Surveyors have been carrying out a flood risk assessment on a major river in the area and were slowed up by the eight foot tall invasive plant that squashes any native species in its vicinity. The plant restricts the surveyor's visibility and in turn their ability to measure, it can also grow through concrete and has been known to appear through the floor of peoples living rooms!

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Mike Hopkins - Managing Director volunteered a team of surveyors to help The Salmon & Trout Association measure the 2010 UK Fly Casting Championships at the CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. This presented a big challenge to the surveyors and proved that Storm Geomatics can measure just about anything in any environment under all sorts of pressure. This is the first time a modern approach to measuring the UK fly casting competitions has been put into practice.

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Surveyors embarked on a large topographical survey in Abingdon to identify the possible use of some open land for a flood storage area (FSA). FSAs are being considered and constructed in many areas local to flooding and are proving to be beneficial in high level events. FSAs are designed to hold water back from areas at risk of flooding at peak flow times, thus avoiding surges of water through towns and villages that can run through residential and commercial properties.

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River modelling

River modelling has been the core activity of Storm Geomatics from the outset, and there was no change to this in May. Surveyors have captured and created river model data for watercourses in Weston-sub-Edge and Naunton in the Cotswolds, providing the client with critical level data to exacting standards in order to better understand the flooding issues in the villages. The River Pang at Hampstead Norreys was also surveyed this month and the Environment Agency will use the drawings and model data to quantify flood risk and consider flood alleviation schemes for the village.

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Surveyors for Storm Geomatics have been out at Batheaston Bridge near Bath this month. The structure is a 400 year toll bridge and the owner wanted an assessment of the bridges stability. Storm Geomatics teamed up with a consulting engineer to provide a detailed scour assessment of the bridge piers. Mike Hopkins (managing director) managed the project which included coring works at the bridge piers to establish pier foundation depth. During the visit surveyors captured data to create a full topographic survey of the entire bridge which provided a base plan to the client for easier asset management.

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Busy Busy Busy

March is traditionally a mad month for our survey teams. As government departments and corporate companies come to the end of their financial year there is a rush to use up budgets and survey work is often a good way to do it. With good organisation and time management Storm Geomatics provide realistic timescales and project schedules to meet our client?s demands. If only it was March every month!

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