Monday, March 19, 2007

FLOODWISE: Where are we now?

The above photo of a beaver chewed tree was shot by Harold Deal on a canoe trip down Beaver Brook, major tributary to the Pequest River, one of NJ's fine limestone trout streams.

There is now an even greater on-the-ground flood potential, thanks to the ice-snow storm. According to the National Weather Service Hydrologic Outlook the piedmont and highlands portion of the Delaware River Basin have between 1-5 inches of frozen precip on the ground. The upper basin has considerably more -- up to 16 inches.

The Delaware River at the Belvidere gage is running a bit higher than normal. The tribs are at or slightly above normal flow, but that will change rapidly when the melt begins again in earnest.

Water equivalents (of the snow and ice) range from 1" in the piedmont to over 5" in the Appalachian Plateau portion of the upper Delaware River watershed. Reservoirs (flood and water supply) are above average capacity, ground is frozen and wet. The only good news is the river ice is no longer a threat.

If we have gentle showers and gradual warming the river and tribs will absorb the runoff. We don't want a heavy rain.

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