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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2012

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Heidi Hoppe (USGS) (609) 406-3815

DEP, USGS INTRODUCE FIRST IN SERIES OF INTERACTIVE FLOOD WARNING
MAPS FOR PASSAIC RIVER BASIN

(12/P110) TRENTON - The first in a series of online, interactive flood- preparation maps designed to assist emergency management personnel and keep residents in the Passaic River Basin informed about flooding events in real time has been launched, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The Saddle River Flood Inundation Map, covering a nearly three-mile stretch of the river in Lodi, is the first map prioritized for the Passaic River Basin in response to recommendations made by Governor Christie’s Passaic River Basin Advisory Commission. The map was developed in partnership between the DEP and U.S. Geological Survey. Seventeen additional interactive maps covering critical areas of the basin will be produced in the coming months as part of a cooperative effort among the DEP, USGS, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Flood inundation mapping is one of the recommendations in the Passaic River Basin Advisory Commission’s 15-point plan for short-term and long-term measures to help mitigate the impact of flooding in the basin. Governor Christie formed the Commission in 2011 in response to a series of damaging floods in the basin, which covers significant portions of Bergen, Morris and Passaic counties. Key recommendations of the plan called for better information to help in preparation and response to flooding emergencies.

“These online maps, intuitive and easy for anyone to use, provide real-time information to residents about conditions during significant rainfalls and will assist local, state and federal officials in making critical decisions to protect the public in the event of flooding,” Commissioner Martin said.
 
“This new flood preparedness tool highlights how our agencies and local officials are working together towards creating more resilient communities, providing better flood preparedness and responses to flooding,” added USGS Associate Director for Water Bill Werkheiser.

Inundation maps are being produced for Lodi, Ridgewood and Upper Saddle River along the Saddle River; for Little Falls, Pine Brook, Chatham, Millington and Clifton along the Passaic River; for Pompton Lakes, Mahwah and Oakland along the Wanaque River; for two locations in Wanaque along the Wanaque River; for Pompton Plains along the Pompton River; for Riverdale and the Macopin Intake Dam along the Pequannock River; for Little Falls along the Peckman River; and for Ho-Ho-Kus Brook in Ho-Ho-Kus.

The Saddle River map can be accessed at http://wim.usgs.gov/FIMI/FloodInundationMapper.html?siteno=01391500#. A click on the map shows the stream flows and water depths for the stretch of the river that extends from the Interstate 80 bridge in Rochelle Park to the Felician College campus in Lodi.

Monitoring tools include current stream gauges, which provide real-time data via satellites to USGS and the National Weather Service (NWS). Using the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) forecast, the Flood Inundation Map illustrates where floodwaters are expected to travel. With this information, emergency management officials and residents can evaluate potential threat of floodwaters to property and infrastructure.

Through the website, users may sign up to receive email notifications in real time of critical thresholds reached in the river via the USGS WaterAlert.

The Scientific Investigations Map (SIM 3221) report documenting the development and methods used to create the flood inundation maps can be accessed at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3221/.

Current conditions for USGS stream gauge 01391500 Saddle River at Lodi, NJ can be accessed at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=01391500.

National Weather Service (NWS) flood forecasts for this gauge can be accessed at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=okx&gage=lodn4.

For information on the Governor’s 15-point Passaic Basin plan and the Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission, visit:
http://www.nj.gov/dep/passaicriver/

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Last Updated: September 18, 2012