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News Release

May 4, 2011
Gerard Butch 518-285-5673
Diane Noserale 703-648-4333

Flooding Sets New Records in New York

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Troy, NY –Three to five inches of warm rain and significant snowmelt produced widespread flooding throughout northern New York from April 27-May 2.  Most USGS streamgages in northern New York exceeded flood stage during this event, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

USGS field crews made a total of 36 high-flow measurements.  Water elevations and streamflows were the highest ever recorded at 14 of 26 streamgages. On May 2, Lake Champlain at Rouses Point reached 102.86 feet. This is the highest elevation on record since monitoring began 141 years ago. 

“Rivers in much of northern New York have receded from flood stage by several feet, except those downstream from lakes and reservoirs,” said hydrologist Gerard Butch, who leads USGS stream monitoring efforts in eastern New York. “Lake Champlain remains above the major flood stage of 101.5 feet, so the additional 1-2 inches of rain in the forecast could prolong the flooding or produce a higher peak,” said Butch. 

During this flood, USGS dispatched six field crews from its offices in Troy and Potsdam to keep critical streamgages operating and to verify the accuracy of data that the gages transmit in real time to users working to protect lives and property.  This includes the National Weather Service, which relies on the data to issue flood warnings, and emergency responders and planners working to protect lives and property from floods. 

Other records set include:

Updated information and details on the records set are posted on the USGS New York Water Science Center website.

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