Friday, September 09, 2011

Remnants of Lee flood...

The Delaware River @ the Rieglesville gage crested at 28.06', which is just a few feet under "major flood stage." It's still high enough to cause flooding problems for the most vulnerable floodplain dwellers. Towns like Yardley and West Trenton were inundated. I'll be touring the Delaware River in my neighborhood (Upper Black Eddy) tomorrow and report.

Of particular interest will be how the Delaware Canal towpath weathered this flood. Repairs from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 floods were just completed last year with a total cost of approximately $29,000,000. It's doubtful that the towpath and canal will suffer that much damage, but with current budget constraints and dwindling amounts of FEMA's not a good situation.

The Musconetcong River nearly reached the record level it attained last week. That's a terrible tragedy for the folks who were flooded out by Irene.

The Perkiomen Creek (largest tributary to the Schuylkill River) also reached a near record flood level of 14'. The Schuylkill had many other flooded tribs (Tulpehocken) and the river itself flooded a few towns, roads and floodplain homes.

The Susquehanna River and its tributaries got the worst of this tropical system. Let's hope it dries out before the next system gets here. The tropical wave train is cranking up!

This weekend I'll be reporting the other issue that plagues the Delaware River: what role did the NYC Reservoirs play in this flood? Based on the Delaware River stream gages, it appears the answer is 'minimal.'

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


It seems that the Delaware and some of its tribs have leveled off and the rain has slacked off considerably. The river at Riegelsville is just around bank-full as of 9:00PM. That would be 22'. It's still heading up though and bears watching. Flood warnings abound. If the rain holds off streams will level off. It we get another round of intense rainfall in the region -- all bets are off.

The Susquehanna watershed will have epic flooding -- the storm tracked right up the Appalachians and the river valley from the Bay to the New York headwaters.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Ominous forecast...

What the hell?

By 9:30am this Labor Day morning Upper Black Eddy was already getting dumped on, and the forecast called for rain this afternoon; not a good sign. Flood watches are posted for the entire region. This map at Weather Underground says it all.

Tropical Depression Lee is just opening up on us and isn't scheduled to be done until sometime Wednesday. Nobody knows how much will come down but it seems at this rate it could be several inches of rain over the next few days.

If this happens we'll see more flooding, especially on those streams that already saw record high water (Musconetcong River and Assunpink Creek to name a few). The NYC Reservoirs are at 100% capacity, except Cannonsville which is just over 98%.

NOAA has the river at Riegelsville attaining a height of 18' by Thursday and that is great news. I'm surprised and worried that that prediction is way under (22' is beginning of flood stage at that particular gage - it got upp to 25' last Monday).

The Delaware River at Riegelsville is heading upwards from 8.31' and the Musconetcong River at Bloomsbury is at 2.84' and will begin to surge higher after this cell moves north from Bucks into Hunterdon and Warren counties.

Little else to say except: Hurricane Katia. It is predicted to not hit the Outer Banks and the mid-Atlantic. Cape Cod could be in trouble. However, even though most models show it heading towards Greenland, there is a possibility that this storm could change its course and slam us. If that happens...I'll be predicting 'epic flood' once again. It didn't happen last week along the Delaware River. Others living along smaller rivers and streams in our region weren't so lucky.

All floodplain dwellers should keep up with conditions and predictions and check multiple sources. Never rely on any one forecasting service!