An arsenal of new technology is being put to the test fighting floods this year as rivers inundate towns and farm fields across the central United States.

Drones, supercomputers and sonar that scans deep under water are helping to maintain flood control projects, and predicting just where rivers will roar out of their banks.

Drone enthusiasts, be aware – the rules for the small, unmanned aircrafts could be changing in Illinois.

A new law bars cities from regulating the use of drones.

The law excludes the city of Chicago, but a spokesman with the Illinois Department of Transportation says it will create consistent rules around the rest of the state.

Jackie Reiser is a co-owner of Measure Illinois – a Springfield-based company that provides drones to oversee power lines and construction sites. She says more unified regulation is a good thing.

Ameren Illinois Shows Off Drone.

Sep 18, 2017
Brad Palmer/WSIU RADIO

Drones are becoming more popular.   Hobbyists  use them to get a different look at their neighborhood and  farmers are using drones to check  their fields for trouble spots.  And now Ameren Illinois  is making use of these high–flying cameras to look down on power lines in order to quickly determine where a break is.  On Monday, September 18th, 2017,  Ameren's Kyle Maxwell demonstrated one of the company's drones at the Cambria power sub–station.  Maxwell said drones can cut down on the time it takes to get lineman to a break, which is critical after severe weather causes power outages.  H

A two-day course at SIU-Carbondale next month will allow drone operators to gain Federal Aviation Administration certification to operate unmanned aircraft systems.