Barren County students create safety device in memory of lost life

GLASGOW Ky.- Last January, Leah Carter was swept away in her car by a flood in Monroe County. It’s a death that is still in the hearts of those in Barren County who knew her.

“Very distantly, she’s related to my wife. It’s personal,” said Barren County Innovation Zone design engineer instructor Carl Owens.

To remember her and safe lives in the process, students in the Barren County Innovation Zone have stepped up to design a flood alarm device. It’s called the L.E.A.H.S alarm, which stands for Lifesaving Early Alert Highwater Safety.

“I think it’s a big deal knowing that what we do can possibly save someone’s life out there,” said device designer Jackson Russell.

“You hear all the stories about people running off, getting hurt, and even dying. Sometimes you just think that if there’s just one thing you could do, it could change a million people’s lives,” added project partner Rhealey Humphrey.

It’s just a prototype as of now. The device detects the height of water on roads. When it gets high, a light will flash signaling drivers to turn away. It also sends a distress signal to emergency management to come barricade the road. Even emergency management is thankful for the help of the students.

“I think it’s wonderful that the youth is thinking of the safety of other people. I really appreciate seeing that out of our students, because they’re the future of Barren County,” said Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management director Tracy Shirly.

In the end, the goal is to save lives, remembering Leah in the process.

“Some kids will amaze you if you give them the opportunity. I’m very proud of what my students have accomplished,” Owens said.

The goal is to set up five prototypes in areas prone to flooding to see how the devices perform, before putting the product in all areas.