A series of 10 digital flood-inundation maps were developed for a 3.3-mile reach of the North River in Colrain, Charlemont, and Shelburne, Massachusetts, by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The coverage of the maps extends from the confluence of the East and West Branch North Rivers to the Deerfield River. Peak-flow estimates at the 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, and 0.2-percent annual exceedance probabilities were computed for the reach from updated flood-frequency analyses. These peak flows were routed through a one-dimensional step-backwater hydraulic model to obtain the corresponding peak water-surface elevations and to place the tropical storm Irene flood of August 28, 2011, into historical context. The hydraulic model was calibrated by using the current  stage-discharge relation at the U.S. Geological Survey streamgage North River at Shattuckville, MA (station number 01169000), and from documented high-water marks from the tropical storm Irene flood, which had a peak flow with approximately a 0.2-percent annual exceedance probability.
A hydraulic model was used to compute water-surface profiles for 10 flood stages referenced to the streamgage and ranging from 6.6 feet (ft; 464.5 ft North American Vertical Datum of 1988 [which is approximately bankfull]) to 18.3 ft (476.2 ft North American Vertical Datum of 1988 [which is the stage of the 0.2-percent annual exceedance probability peak flow and exceeds the maximum recorded water level at the streamgage and the National Weather Service major flood stage of 13.0 ft]. The mapped stages of 6.6 to 18.3 ft were selected to match the stages of flows for bankfull; the 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, and 0.2-percent annual exceedance probabilities; and an incremental stage of 17.0 ft. The simulated water-surface profiles were combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data with a 0.5-ft vertical accuracy to create a set of flood-inundation maps.
The availability of the flood-inundation maps, combined with information regarding near-real-time stage from the U.S. Geological Survey North River at Shattuckville, MA streamgage can provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities, such as evacuations and road closures, and postflood recovery efforts. The flood-inundation maps are nonregulatory, but provide Federal, State, and local agencies and the public with estimates of the potential extent of flooding during selected peak-flow events. Introduction
|Title||Flood-Inundation Maps for the North River in Colrain, Charlemont, and Shelburne, Massachusetts, From the Confluence of the East and West Branch North Rivers to the Deerfield River|
|Authors||Gardner C. Bent, Pamela J. Lombard, Robert W. Dudley|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Massachusetts Water Science Center|