Texas Tech Hurricane Team on the front lines of Sandy research

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It may seem odd for a land-locked university to have such an impact on hurricane research, but the Texas Tech Hurricane Research Team is once again on the forefront of collecting data.

A group of researchers left Lubbock last week and headed straight into Sandy's fury. Brian Hirth is a member of the team.

"Before we got there we anticipated it wouldn't be, not so much the wind, but the water and the storm surge," Hirth said.

The team deployed 10 StickNet instruments that measure things like wind speeds and report the information back in real time. The data was then relayed to organizations like the National Hurricane Center and FEMA.

"The observations that we were collecting with our instruments were being distributed to the public and they were able to know what the winds were," Hirth said.

The StickNets were located on the coast throughout a 175 mile stretch, from Ocean City, MD to Staten Island, NY. Texas Tech is one of the only schools nationwide to have this technology. Hirth says this means a lot for the Texas Tech program.

"It's pretty amazing that we're making a contribution to informing the general public when these significant storms impact large areas," Hirth said.

The team is currently working on retrieving the instruments and will head back to Lubbock as soon as that's complete.

"It's very satisfying to know that our data and our hard work and our deployments and the challenges we go through pays off," Hirth said.

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