Friday, December 12, 2008

Waters cresting and falling...

Looking upriver from River Road in Yardley, PA - the Delaware River was in the road Friday night. Yardley is one of the most flood prone communities in the 13,000+ square mile watershed.

A few streams made it to flood stage, most notably my dear old friend the Perkiomen Creek rose to nearly 2 feet above the 11 foot flood. I once lived in a log cabin in the heart of that creek's flood plain and eye-witnessed the 6th all time flood. The Perky flows to the Schuylkill River right through the heart of the Triassic Shale country.

In the Pocono Mountains the Lackawaxen is still rising and the Brodhead came out of its banks. On the New Jersey side none of the Delaware River tribs above Trenton were particularly high. Below Trenton the Crosswicks and North Branch Rancocas are running high and still rising. The Musconetcong only came up to 3 feetplus, but the limestone watershed is nicely recharged so it should stay up for some time.

On the Delaware River the gage at Belvidere is just at 11 ft. or about halfway to flood stage, but showing sides of ebbing.

However, the Riegelsville gage is just over 15 ft and rising towards the dreaded 22 ft stage. Normally these two river gages read roughly the same in terms of height, so clearly the big difference is the Lehigh River which comes in between, and the Lehigh is cranking out the CFS at Bethlehem. The Lehigh is still rising and some of its tribs like Jordan Creek in Allentown are continuing to rise. That means the Delaware below Easton has a ways to go before falling and it will likely approach bank full.

The Tohickon Creek was absolutely ripping at nearly 7 feet early this morning. We paddled the creek at 2.48 ft. a week ago or so and it's a challenge to think of it being nearly 5 feet above that.

Like I said - it looks like we'll have a great paddling winter and spring in terms of water levels. The groundwater will have a chance to recharge before the ground freezes over. All that is needed are a bunch of mild days above 40 deg.