Passaic River discharge in rowing area is 77 times greater than normal, per USGS

With the Passaic River cresting today, the USGS flow meter at the Dundee dam, which is the tidal boundary of the lower Passaic, shows a flow of 24,700 cubic feet per second.  The normal median flow for this time of year over the past 4 years is 317 cfs.  No, that is not a typo – the flood is pumping 77 times the amount of water down the river than would normally flow right now.  In late August the flow is usually low and a lot of debris starts to sneak up on the tide.  Not this year!  The highest median flow recorded on any day in the last 4 years was roughly 6,700 cfs during the St. Patrick’s day floods after the blizzard 2 years ago.  I was on the water during that, and it was hard to make headway upstream, but still rowable with some excitement in a single.  I can’t imagine what it would be like today with flow 4 times that!  If we’re lucky cleanup at PRRA will begin Saturday.  Nereid’s situation is getting worse, not better, with the surrounding residential area beginning evacuations this afternoon.

Stay tuned and stay safe in Jersey!

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