Tiger Dams and girl power

Chief State Meteorologist discusses protecting our coast, being 1st woman in her role

Orange tubes line our beaches in parts of Volusia and Flagler counties.

The Tiger Dams are being used to protect businesses and houses from more destruction following last year’s busy hurricane season.

Florida’s Chief State Meteorologist Amy Godsey says the tubes can be filled with water to create a barrier preventing unwanted water.

She joined News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells on Talk To Tom to discuss the tool now being used in Central Florida.

Godsey said Hurricane Ian is the first time Florida has used them, but they have been used successfully during “flood events throughout the Midwest.”

She also said the Louisiana-based company responsible for making them is “trying to expand their market finding new applications, such as perhaps temporary sea walls.”

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Godsey welcomes the new resource pointing out they can be laid for several feet like they were at a hospital near Lake Monroe in Sanford, or for miles like the case in Flagler in Volusia Counties.

She said they are also flexible, and that crews were able to maneuver them around what archaeologists believe is a 19th-century ship that was uncovered during Hurricane Nicole.

In addition to Tiger Dams, Godsey also talked to Sorrells about how she came into her role as Chief State Meteorologist.

“I grew up in South Florida, in St. Lucie County. So I’m very familiar with hurricanes, went to Florida State for meteorology, thought about doing broadcasting and being like you Tom, but ended up with Emergency Management and working with emergency officials giving them critical weather information and guidance on what to be prepared for, what to expect, what consequences may happen from these damaging events, in terms of first responders, but also from our public perspective, what could we need to be prepared for and experience so that we can help our Floridians know what’s happening and get them back on track if disaster does strike,” Godsey said. “I’ve been here for 16 years, and I’m loving every minute of it.”

Tom Sorrells and his daughters. (Tom Sorrells)

“That is fantastic. I’m a big girl dad. I have not one, not two, but three girls, all of whom crushed STEM. So I champion women whenever they can succeed in STEM and do the kind of work you’re doing,” Sorrells said.

Sorrells asked what made her want to go into meteorology.

“I was pretty young, still in elementary school, but old enough to remember Hurricane Andrew, even though I was on the periphery of it, you know, just seeing the images and wanting to help really bad and just going through that type of event really, you know, places an emphasis on you and keep that in your brain. And, obviously Hurricane Floyd. You know, when it looked like it was coming towards Florida, I was a bit older than and was able to understand what was happening.  So those would be kind of the two big events,” Godsey said.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.