You may have heard about “Flood Watches” for the area. This is a confusing term we’d like to clarify.
A flood watch means that for a very large geographic area it is possible that there could be some kind of flooding. It could be creeks and streams overtopping roads or it could even go so far as river flooding; at the “watch” stage nothing specific is being predicted and the vast majority of the time, nothing major happens.
With the current watch, we are keeping an eye on the rate of rise of the river, which is a good indicator if we’re going to have any problems. This time of year, snowmelt upriver is a factor and the fact that we’ve had a pretty cold week and still-frozen ground means that there will be more runoff than if it had been warmer.
You can have have a look at the exact same data we are monitoring right here:
In Upper Black Eddy, here are the approximate river levels (as measured in Reiglesville) where things start to happen:
- About 19-20 feet: River Road at Berm Lane may be covered with water, the end of Trail’s End Lane will get water.
- About 20-21 feet: River Road at Berm Lane will be covered with water, as will large sections of Trails End
- About 21-22 feet: All of the above, plus we will get water in the road at Bridgeton Hill Road and River Road
- From 22-24 feet: All of the above, but more of River Road will be under water
Over 24′ and we start talking about more disruptive flooding, but if you recall, we had three river floods in 2011 that were fairly uneventful, in fact, the flood of 1996, which was a 28.72′ crest, was considered a big deal, while the flood of September 9th 2011 with a 28.06′ crest, seems to have passed with little notice.
For reference, here are the top 20 Flood Crests for the Delaware, with the six that have happened in the last 10 years highlighted so you can get a sense of what to expect at various crest levels.
(1) 38.85 ft on 08/20/1955
(2) 35.90 ft on 10/10/1903
(3) 34.07 ft on 04/03/2005
(4) 33.62 ft on 06/29/2006
(5) 32.45 ft on 03/19/1936
(6) 30.95 ft on 09/19/2004
(7) 28.72 ft on 01/20/1996
(8) 28.06 ft on 09/09/2011
(9) 27.50 ft on 05/24/1942
(10) 26.47 ft on 04/01/1940
(11) 25.40 ft on 12/12/1952
(12) 25.20 ft on 03/12/2011
(13) 25.16 ft on 03/16/1986
(14) 25.00 ft on 03/28/1913
(15) 24.51 ft on 08/29/2011
(16) 24.46 ft on 05/30/1984
(17) 24.36 ft on 06/30/1973
(18) 24.17 ft on 04/17/1983
(19) 23.80 ft on 10/16/1955
(20) 22.55 ft on 12/22/1973