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The Snowmelt/Rainfall Floods of January 1996


The Winter Flood of 1996 began January 18 and 19 ahead of a strong cold front. In the day leading up to the floods, strong southerly winds and dew points reaching in to 50's created ideal conditions to melt the snowpack that was covering the entire Mid Atlantic region. As the cold front moved through the area on January 19 and 20, intense rainfall accelerated the snowmelt even further, causing massive amounts of runoff to enter the rivers and streams.

The flooding was the worst to hit the entire MARFC area in over 20 years. Some smaller streams broke their all-time flood records. Pennsylvania cities saw their worst flooding since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

Flood of '96 Photo Gallery


Preliminary Crests as recorded by the MARFC

To get the official crest at each of these locations, please contact the U.S. Geological Survey office nearest you.


Susquehanna River Basin

                                     FLOOD
LOCATION                   CREST     STAGE    DATE      REMARKS 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NORTH BRANCH SUSQUEHANNA
   Unadilla, NY            14.3 ft   11 ft    Jan 20    
   Bainbridge, NY          21.1 ft   13 ft    Jan 21
   Conklin, NY             17.6 ft   11 ft    Jan 20
   Vestal, NY              27.8      18 ft    Jan 20
   Waverly, NY             20.4      11 ft    Jan 20

UNADILLA RIVER
   Rockdale, NY            12.4 ft   11 ft    Jan 20

TIOUGHNIOGA RIVER
   Cortland, NY            12.7 ft    8 ft    Jan 20

OTSELIC RIVER
   Cincinnatus, NY         11.2 ft    9 ft    Jan 20

CHENANGO RIVER
   Sherburne , NY          10.5 ft    8 ft    Jan 20
   Green, NY   		15.9 ft   13 ft    Jan 20
   Chenango Forks, NY      12.8 ft   10 ft    Jan 20

CANISTEO RIVER
   West Cameron, NY        20.9 ft   17 ft    Jan 19

COHOCTON RIVER
   Campbell, NY             9.5 ft    8 ft    Jan 20

CHEMUNG RIVER
   Corning, NY 	           25.9 ft   29 ft    Jan 20
   Elmira, NY 	  	   14.1	ft   12 ft    Jan 20
   Chemung, NY 	  	   19.8	ft   16 ft    Jan 20

WEST BRANCH SUSQUEHANNA
   Karthaus, Pa 	   13.3	ft   19 ft    Jan 20
   Renovo, Pa 	           20.7 ft   16	ff    Jan 20
   Lock Haven, Pa          25.8 ft   21	ft    Jan 20
   Jersey Shore, Pa	   29.5 ft   26	ft    Jan 20
   Williamsport, Pa        26.7 ft   20	ft    Jan 20
   Muncy, Pa               28.6 ft   20	ft    Jan 20
   Montgomery, Pa 	   28.5 ft   17	ft    Jan 20
   Watsontown, Pa 	   28.5 ft   23	ft    Jan 20
   Milton, Pa              27.5 ft   19	ft    Jan 20
   Lewisburg, Pa           25.9 ft   18	ft    Jan 20

SINNEMAHONING CREEK
   Sinnemahoning, Pa 	   19   ft   17 ft    Jan 20

BALD EAGLE CREEK
   Beech Creek Station, Pa 15.6 ft   11	ft    Jan 19

PINE CREEK
   Cedar Run, Pa           11.5 ft   12	ft    Jan 19

LOYALSOCK CREEK
   Loyalsockville, Pa      17.8 ft   12	ft    Jan 19

FRANKSTOWN BRANCH JUNIATA RIVER
   Williamsburg, Pa        19.2 ft   12 ft    Jan 19     FLOOD OF RECORD
                                                         OLD RECORD 19.1
						  SET 1 JUNE 1889

LITTLE JUNIATA RIVER
   Spruce Ck, Pa   	   19.1	ft    8 ft    Jan 19

JUNIATA RIVER
   Huntingdon, Pa 	   15.9	ft   12 ft    Jan 19
   Saxton, Pa              19.6	ft   17 ft    Jan 20
   Mapleton Depot, Pa      22.5	ft   20 ft    Jan 20
   Lewistown, Pa 	   31.6	ft   23 ft    Jan 20
   Newport, Pa             24.7	ft   22 ft    Jan 20

MAIN STEM SUSQUEHANNA	
   Towanda, Pa  	   24.8	ft   16 ft    Jan 20
   Meshoppen, Pa  	   36.3	ft   27 ft    Jan 20
   Wilkes-Barre, Pa        34.5	ft   22 ft    Jan 20
   Bloomsburg, Pa 	   26.9	ft   19 ft    Jan 21
   Danville, Pa  	   26	ft   20 ft    Jan 21
   Sunbury, Pa             30.3	ft   24 ft    Jan 20
   Harrisburg, Pa          25.1	ft   17 ft    Jan 20
   Marietta, Pa            56.8	ft   49 ft    Jan 21

TOWANDA CREEK
   Monroeton, Pa 12        20.7	ft   12 ft    Jan 19     SIGNIFICANT ICE 
                                                         POSSIBLE FLOOD OF RECORD
     							 OLD RECORD 15.3 
							 SET 22 JUNE 1972

TUNKHANNOCK RIVER
   Dixon, Pa    	   17.3	ft   11 ft    Jan 20     SIGNIFICANT ICE
         						 POSSIBLE FLOOD OF RECORD
							 OLD RECORD 14.3
							 SET ? MARCH 1964
LACKAWANA RIVER
   Old Forge, Pa 	   15.5	ft   11 ft    Jan 19

PENNS CREEK
   Penns Ck, Pa 	   13.7	ft    8 ft    Jan 20

SHERMANS CREEK
   Shermans Dale, Pa       11.6	ft    9 ft    Jan 19

CONODOGUINET CREEK
   Hogestown, Pa  	    9.2	ft    8 ft    Jan 21

YELLOW BREECHES CREEK
   Camp Hill, Pa    	   10.4	ft    7 ft    Jan 20

SWATARA CREEK
   Harpers Tavern, Pa 	   15.7	ft    9 ft    Jan 20
   Hershey, Pa  	   10.2	ft    7 ft    Jan 21
   Middletown, Pa     Est. 14.0	ft   11 ft    Jan 21     FLOOD CREST ESTIMATED

CONESTOGA RIVER
   Lancaster, Pa 	   12.3	ft   11 ft    Jan 20


Delaware River Basin

                                     FLOOD
LOCATION                   CREST     STAGE    DATE      REMARKS 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DELAWARE RIVER
   Riegelsville, NJ 	   28.72 ft  22 ft    Jan 20
   Trenton, NJ      	   22.19 ft  20 ft    Jan 21

LEHIGH RIVER
   Lehighton, PA 	   12.16 ft  10 ft    Jan 20
   Walnutport, PA 	   12.31 ft   8 ft    Jan 19
   Bethlehem, PA 	   16.9	 ft  16 ft    Jan 20

JORDAN CREEK
   Allentown, PA 	    9.13 ft   6 ft    Jan 20

SCHUYLKILL RIVER
   Berne, PA 		   14.32 ft  12 ft    Jan 19
   Reading, PA             15.85 ft  13 ft    Jan 20
   Pottstown, PA           14.91 ft  13 ft    Jan 20
   Norristown, PA             19 ft  17 ft
   Philadelphia, PA        13.36 ft  11 ft    Jan 20

NESHAMINY CREEK
   Langhorne, PA 	   14.98 ft   9 ft    Jan 20

PERKIOMEN CREEK
   Graterford, PA 	   16.26 ft  11 ft    Jan 19

CHESTER CREEK
   Chester, PA  	   11.2	 ft   8 ft    Jan 19

BRANDYWINE CREEK 
   Chadds Ford, PA 	   14.21 ft   9 ft    Jan 20
   Wilmington, DE 	   12.72 ft   9 ft    Jan 20

New Jersey River Basins

                                     FLOOD
LOCATION                   CREST     STAGE    DATE      REMARKS 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ASSUNPINK CREEK
   Trenton, NJ  	   10.3	 ft   7 ft    Jan 19

NORTH BRANCH RANCOCAS CREEK
   Pemberton, NJ   	    2.64 ft 2.7	ft    Jan 19

RAMAPO RIVER
   Pompton Lak   Loyalsockville, Pa      17.8 ft   12	ft    Jan 19

FRANKSTOWN BRANCH JUNIATA RIVER
   Williamsburg, Pa        19.2 ft   12 ft    Jan 19     FLOOD OF RECORDft    Jan 21

SOUTH BRANCH RARITAN RIVER
   Stanton, NJ  	    9.75 ft   8 ft    Jan 19

NORTH BRANCH RARITAN RIVER
   Raritan, NJ             14.3	 ft  10 ft    Jan 19

RARITAN RIVER
   Manville, NJ 	   19.94 ft  12 ft    Jan 20

MILLSTONE RIVER
   Blackwells Mills, NJ    15.16 ft   9 ft    Jan 20

Potomac and James River Basins

                                     FLOOD
LOCATION                   CREST     STAGE    DATE      REMARKS 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
APPOMATTOX RIVER
   Farmville, Va           17.4  ft  16 ft    Jan 20
   Matoaca, Va              9.94 ft  10 ft    Jan 21

JAMES RIVER
   Lick Run, Va               25 ft  16 ft    Jan 19
   Buchanan, Va 	      29 ft  17 ft    Jan 20
   Holcombs Rock, Va 	      31 ft  22 ft    Jan 20
   Bent Creek , Va          19.1 ft  16 ft    Jan 20
   Scottsville, Va 	      26 ft  20 ft    Jan 21
   Cartersville, Va         26.5 ft  20 ft    Jan 21
   Richmond-Westham, Va     20.6 ft  12 ft    Jan 22

MAURY RIVER
   Buena Vista, Va          18.3 ft  17 ft    Jan 19

RIVANNA RIVER
   Palmyra, Va   	      25 ft  17 ft    Jan 20

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER
   Remington, Va 	    20.9 ft  15 ft    Jan 20

RAPIDAN RIVER
   Culpeper, Va 	      18 ft  14 ft    Jan 20

SOUTH RIVER
   Waynesboro, Va 	     9.8 ft 9.5 ft    Jan 19

SOUTH FORK SHENANDOAH RIVER
   Lynnwood, Va      	    24.9 ft  16 ft    Jan 19
   Front Royal, Va          24.9 ft  12 ft    Jan 20

NORTH FORK SHENANDOAH RIVER
   Cootes Store , Va        19.7 ft  15 ft    Jan 19
   Strasburg, Va            27.8 ft  17 ft    Jan 20

SHENANDOAH RIVER
   Millville, WV            23.6 ft 13.5 ft   Jan 20

NORTH BRANCH POTOMAC RIVER
   Kitzmiller, Md  	    12.9 ft   9 ft    Jan 19
   Cumberland, Md 	    25.6 ft  17 ft    Jan 19

WILLS CREEK
   Cumberland, Md 	    23.1 ft 13.5 ft   Jan 19     FLOOD OF RECORD
                                                         OLD RECORD 20.2 ft
							 SET 17 MARCH 1936
SOUTH BRANCH POTOMAC RIVER
   Franklin, WV  	    16.1 ft   7 ft    Jan 19
   Petersburg, WV 	      20 ft  12 ft    Jan 19
   Moorefield, WV 	    10.5 ft  10 ft    Jan 19
   Springfield WV 	    28.3 ft  15 ft    Jan 20

POTOMAC RIVER
   Paw Paw, WV  	      41 ft  25 ft    Jan 20
   Hancock, Md  	    36.4 ft  30 ft    Jan 20
   Harpers Ferry, WV 	    29.4 ft  18 ft    Jan 21
   Shepherdstown, WV   Est. 32.5 ft  15 ft    Jan 20     FLOOD CREST ESTIMATED
   Point of Rocks, Md       36.5 ft  16 ft    Jan 21
   Little Falls, Md         19.3 ft  10 ft    Jan 21

CONOCOCHEAGUE CREEK
   Fairview, Md 	    14.2 ft   8 ft    Jan 20

OPEQUON CREEK
   Martinsburg, WV 	    18.2 ft  10 ft    Jan 20     FLOOD OF RECORD
                                                         OLD RECORD 17.4 ft
							 SET 22 JUNE 1972
ANTIETAM CREEK
   Sharpsburg, Md 	    13.5 ft   8 ft    Jan 20

MONOCACY RIVER
   Frederick, Md 	    23.7 ft  15 ft    Jan 20

GOOSE CREEK
   Leesburg, Va 	    20.5 ft  12 ft    Jan 20

 

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