Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flooding Concerns

Over the past few days, a couple of heavy rain events have effected our area. This has left rivers near or just starting to go over their banks and the ground saturated. With another heavy rain event on the way, this is a bit closer look at the potential impacts.

The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center puts out river forecasts for the more major rivers. In the Cortland-Southern Cayuga-Tompkins tri-county region, there are three locations that get these forecasts: The Tioughnioga River in Cortland, and Cayuga Lake and Fall Creek in Ithaca. Each location has 4 levels of flooding: action stage, flood stage, moderate stage, and major stage. The action stage is the only one where flooding does not actuall occur. Currently, the two stations in Ithaca are below action stage and are not forecasted to rise to action stage. Our attention then turns to Cortland, where the Tioughnioga is already above flood stage, but is not quite forecasted to get to the moderate stage: (click to enlarge)

Here also is the projected rainfall for Cortland, as forecasted by the NWS: (click to enlarge)

While this rain will certainly swell the Tioughnioga, major flooding problems should be avoided. Now, there are plenty of other small streams and rivers in the area that are swollen. With my resources, I can't tell you which ones will have more flooding problems than others. If you live near a stream, just keep an eye on it, especially tomorrow morning towards the end of the rain. Most importantly though, if you are driving, and you come to a water covered roadway, do not try to drive through it. There is no telling how deep the water is.

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