Rising Water Increases Danger on Upper Delaware River

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Date: September 1, 2006
Contact: Loren Goering, 570-729-7574

Dave Forney, Superintendent of the National Park Service at Upper Delaware Scenic and RecreationalRiver, announced this morning that although the water level is dropping on the Delaware River, there is still a danger of high water for the weekend.  “The rain last weekend and earlier this week has saturated the ground,” commented Forney.  “Any additional rain will result in higher water levels and possible danger for boaters on the Delaware River.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rains and thunderstorms for late Friday evening and all day Saturday, with a chance of rain on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Call the National Park Service River Information Hotline at (845) 252-7100 for daily updates of river heights, air and water temperatures, and river conditions.

If the water level is between 6-8 feet, boaters can expect waves up to 6 feet at certain locations and a very swift river current.  This is considered a high water level and higher skill level is recommended for open boat use.  Rafts are recommended for less experienced boaters.

If the water level is between 8-12 feet, floating debris hazards and very swift currents are present with waves up to 8 feet.  Water temperatures are decreased and a wet/dry suit is recommended to prevent hypothermia.  Hazards and obstructions may be present along the shoreline.  This is very high water and properly equipped rafts and/or closed boats are recommended.  Only boaters with the highest skill level should attempt a river trip at this water level.

If the water level is over 12 feet the river is approaching flood stage.  At this stage river conditions include violent currents, undercurrents and whirlpools and many waves above 8 feet.

Maneuvering and rescue are extremely difficult and floating debris is very hazardous.  Boating is not recommended at this stage.  Flood stage at the Barryville, NY gauge is 17 feet.

“Chocolate brown water is dangerous at any water level because it can hide underwater obstructions,” warned Forney.  “River users should always wear a life jacket and they should plan ahead for a safe and enjoyable river trip.”

For more information call the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and RecreationalRiver at (570) 729-7134.


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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