River Levels Set Records in 10 States
Editors note: this news release will be updated online with more information on the streamgage records being set by state as it becomes available.
Rivers and streams are reaching record levels as a result of Hurricane Irene’s rainfall, with more than 80 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages measuring record peaks.
The northeast is seeing the bulk of the records, as higher than average precipitation the past few weeks had saturated the ground in many locations prior to Irene’s arrival.
While some rivers have already crested, or reached their highest levels, other rivers are still expected to rise.
Immediately after the worst of the storm had passed, USGS hydrologists from North Carolina to Maine deployed to measure high-water marks at rivers and streams and to verify high river flows and peak stages. The crews also calibrated and repaired streamgages damaged by the storm to ensure they continued to transmit information in real time to users working to protect lives and property.
To date, records have been set on rivers and streams in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
The USGS, in cooperation with state and federal agencies, operates a nationwide network of more than 7,000 streamgages on inland rivers and streams. These gauges provide real-time data important to the National Weather Service, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other state and local partners involved in issuing flood and evacuation warnings, coordinating emergency responses to communities, and operating flood-control reservoirs.
Real-time information from these streamgages are available online.
Flooding information and records known so far:
- In Delaware, records were set on the St. Jones River and the Beaverdam Branch at Houston
- In Maine, the fastest flowing water was recorded on the border with New Hampshire, with at least one record peak flow on the Wild River
- In Maryland, records were seen on the Choptank River, James Run and St. Clement Creek
- In Massachusetts, records were seen at several streamgages
- In New Hampshire and Vermont, record peaks were measured in the Merrimack, Connecticut, Hudson and St. Lawrence River basins
- In New Jersey, numerous streamgages have measured record peaks, with major flooding on the Passaic River
- In New York, many streamgages have measured record peaks
- In Pennsylvania, several streamgages measured record peaks
- In Virginia, the Blackwater River, near Franklin, was measured above flood stage
This monitoring is part of the federal government’s broad efforts to ensure public safety to support the state, tribal, and local response to the storm.
For more information on being prepared for storms go to ready.gov.