Thursday, June 29, 2006


That shot of a Holland Township stop sign taken by Wally Jenness says it all. The river is clearly cresting at 32.90' at the Riegelsville Gauge, flatlining if you will, and just about everywhere else too.

Now the photos emerge, and the river will soon recede to reveal the damage done to manmade objects such as buildings, roads, and bridges. Right now the Delaware is one of the most polluted rivers on the planet, except for all the other rivers that are involved in this natural disaster. We have gas stations, sewer plants and septic systems, McDonalds frenchfrie oil, dead cows, and tons of silt mixing together in a chocolate colored, fetid mix of benzene, oil, bacteria, and pathogens.

Across the river from Wally, Siobhan Royack of Durham Township has been traveing between Kintnersville and Riegelsville, PA. she is documenting this historic, albeit depressing event, as she has done so many times before.

The photo on the right is the Riegelsville Inn, which is situated near the most beautiful bridge over the Delaware River, the Roebling cable suspension bridge.

Unless something really big happens I will take a break until tomorrow morning - I am fried!


National Canoe Safety Patrol said...

Thanks John for the Great coverage.

We love our Delaware River. The tributaries dump to fast into the Delaware because of population density. Currently, we have more pressure from warehouse developers who want to build more warehouses near our remaining Crosswicks watershed and wetland areas. This must be stopped!

I believe we are in our final days to make a difference.

George & Leona Fluck

National Canoe Safety Patrol.

Friends for the Marsh

Outdoor Club of South Jersey

& The PineyPaddlers

Check out website for additional information.

National Canoe Safety Patrol said...

Is global warming to blame?
By: BRIAN SCHEID (Thu, Jun/29/2006)

Environmentalists believe the Delaware River's recent proclivity for flooding might not be a fluke, but a sign of things to come.

If development continues to flourish in Bucks County and global warming trends continue, flooding on the Delaware might become even more frequent, according to interviews with a half-dozen environmentalists Wednesday.

“It feels like the 50-year-flood is becoming the every-other-week flood,” said David Masur, director of PennEnvironment, a statewide advocacy group.

His comments came Wednesday, as riverfront communities braced for the third major flood since September 2004.

However, just two months ago, the river was flowing near all-time low levels and the state was mired in a drought watch.

Those rapid extremes on the river and the frequency of major flooding could be signs of the impact of global warming in Bucks, according to Kert Davies, a research director for Greenpeace, one of the world's best known environmental action groups.

“Global warming is like putting the weather system on steroids,” Davies said. “It makes droughts more intense, floods more intense and storms more intense and all of it more frequent.”

Masur said the intensity of this week's flooding may have been accelerated by the county's development boom. As more wetlands, farmlands and river and stream banks are paved over, the amount of rainfall absorbed is slashed, forcing more storm runoff into rivers, creeks and streams.

“If you take away the sponge and replace it with concrete and asphalt, then it makes sense that the water has no place to go and you'll have these problems,” Masur said.

“We've just decreased the land's ability to slow the flow of water when you have a heavy rain,” said Janet Milkman, president of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide nonprofit conservation group.

Jeff Schmidt, director of the Sierra Club's Pennsylvania chapter, said several municipalities statewide are beginning to address the problem by building better stormwater retention basins and considering requiring parking lots that can absorb rainwater and minimize runoff.

Still, Schmidt admitted, the problem is getting worse, not better.

“Every community wants to get this water away from them, but they're not thinking about what's happening downstream,” Schmidt said. “Everybody lives downstream from somebody else.”

Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, said there is no way to stop flooding, even with dams or levies. She said the only way to stop flood damage is to end development in the flood plain, including in some of the most vulnerable riverfront communities — such as Yardley and New Hope.

“I'm not saying that because of development we would not have had this flood, but absolutely, development makes the problem worse,” van Rossum said. “The only way communities are going to be protected from these floods is if they're not there and that is, for some, a painful reality.”

Brian Scheid can be reached at 215-949-4165 or