Delaware • New Jersey • Pennsylvania
New York • United States of America
The National Weather Service (NWS) has designated March 16-22, 2014 as National Flood Safety Awareness Week to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property. Visit the NWS Flood Safety Awareness Week web site for more information.
Serious flooding (particularly the record flood of 1955) was one of the primary reasons that led to the creation of the DRBC in 1961. However, over the next 40+ years the Delaware River and those living or working along its banks were much more familiar with droughts than floods. This hydrologic pattern would change beginning in 2004.
In September 2004, April 2005, and June 2006, three major floods caused devastation along the main stem Delaware River, repeatedly damaging property and disrupting tens of thousands of lives. These were the worst floods to occur on the main stem since 1955. The last known occurrence of three main stem floods of comparable magnitude within so short a time span was the period from March 1902 to March 1904.
The four basin state governors in September 2006 directed DRBC staff to convene an interstate task force to develop a set of measures to reduce the impacts of flooding along the Delaware and its tributaries. The Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force issued a report in July 2007 identifying 45 recommendations in six areas: flood warning, reservoir operations, floodplain regulation, floodplain mapping, structural and non-structural mitigation, and stormwater management.
Visit the commission's flood loss reduction page to learn more about the ongoing efforts by DRBC and numerous partners to implement the July 2007 recommendations as resources become available, especially in the area of flood warning enhancements.
"Floods are the leading cause of natural disaster losses in the United States, having cost approximately $50 billion in property damage in the 1990s and accounting for more than two-thirds of federally declared natural disasters (National Research Council, 2009). Direct average annual flood damages have jumped from approximately $5.6 billion per year in the 1990s to nearly $10 billion per year in the 2000s, with some years much more that. But the costs of flooding go far beyond these direct losses."
Source: The Association of State Floodplain Managers, “Flood Mapping for the Nation” (March 1, 2013)