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Open-File Report 2009–1063

Prepared in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Flood of June 26–29, 2006, Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Basins, New York

By Thomas P. Suro, Gary D. Firda, and Carolyn O. Szabo

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ABSTRACT

A stalled frontal system caused tropical moisture to be funneled northward into New York, causing severe flooding in the Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River basins during June 26–29, 2006. Rainfall totals for this multi-day event ranged from 2 to 3 inches to greater than 13 inches in southern New York. The storm and flooding claimed four lives in New York, destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and businesses, and closed hundreds of roads and highways. Thousands of people evacuated their homes as floodwaters reached new record elevations at many locations within the three basins. Twelve New York counties were declared Federal disaster areas, more than 15,500 residents applied for disaster assistance, and millions of dollars in damages resulted from the flooding. Disaster-recovery assistance for individuals and businesses adversely affected by the floods of June 2006 reached more than $227 million.

The National Weather Service rainfall station at Slide Mountain recorded storm totals of more than 8 inches of rainfall, and the stations at Walton and Fishs Eddy, NY, recorded storm totals of greater than 13 inches of rainfall. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stream-gaging stations at Mohawk River at Little Falls, West Branch Delaware River at Hale Eddy, and Susquehanna River at Vestal, NY, among others, recorded peak discharges of 35,000 ft3/s, 43,400 ft3/s, and 119,000 ft3/s respectively, with greater than 100-year recurrence intervals. The peak water-surface elevation 21.47 ft and the peak discharge 189,000 ft3/s recorded on June 28, 2006, at the Delaware River at Port Jervis stream-gaging station were the highest recorded since the flood of August 1955. At the Susquehanna River at Conklin, NY, stream-gaging station, which has been in operation since 1912, the peak water-surface elevation 25.02 ft and peak discharge 76,800 ft3/s recorded on June 28, 2006, exceeded the previous period-of-record maximums that were set during the flood of March 1936. Documented peak water-surface elevations during the June 2006 flood at many study sites in the Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River basins exceeded the 100-year flood-profile elevations determined in the flood-insurance studies prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For additional information contact:
Director
U.S. Geological Survey
New York Water Science Center
425 Jordan Road
Troy, NY 12180
(518)285-5600

http://ny.water.usgs.gov

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Suggested citation:

Suro, T.P., Firda, G.D. and Szabo, C.O. 2009, Flood of June 26–29, 2006, Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Basins, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1063, 354p. Available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ofr/2009/1063



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Storm of June 26–29, 2006

Antecedent Conditions

Precipitation

Flood of June 27–29, 2006, Discharge and Frequency

Mohawk River Basin

Delaware River Basin

Susquehanna River Basin

Effects of Reservoirs on Flooding

Mohawk River Basin

Delaware River Basin

Susquehanna River Basin

Comparison of the 2006 Flood to Historic Floods

Mohawk River Basin

Delaware River Basin

Susquehanna River Basin

Peak Water-Surface Elevations at Flood Study Sites

Flood Damage

Summary

Acknowledgements

Selected References

Appendix 1. Site Descriptions and High-Water Marks at Study Sites, Flood of June 26–29, 2006, in the Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Basins, New York

Appendix 2. Comparison of High-Water Marks and Photographs at Selected Study Sites, Floods of September 18–19, 2004, and June 26–29, 2006, Delaware River Basin, New York

Appendix 3. Selected Photographs of Flood Damage During the Flood of June 26–29, 2006, Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Basins, New York



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