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WT Staff

Saturday May 18, 2024
Streamflows up in the west, moderate drought in the northeast

May 18, 2024 1150 am EDT

Current Streamflow Situation
Provisional data indicates streamflows have shifted overnight in the west from much below the seasonal normal to as high as 97th percentile by noon Saturday. Three stations in the Lake Ontario minor tributaries west section are rated high, four stations reporting above 90th percentile or much above normal through the chronically dry Genesee River and Niagara River- Lake Erie north watershed. The rest of Genesee River watershed registers normal, streamflows through the Niagara River north portion are above normal. Three stations in the west interior Finger Lakes region are rated below normal Saturday amid a field of normal flow values for this date in water history.

Northeast flows remain unchanged from what we observed yesterday, normal to much below normal values coming through the sensors on Black River and St. Lawrence River watersheds, mostly normal through the Lake Champlain watershed. The upper channel Mohawk River is recording above seasonal normal dropping to normal along the Mohawk River channel to meet the Hudson. Schoharie River channel and connector creeks and kills flows have dropped below normal overnight. Upper Hudson River flows have picked up overnight, the top station records flow below the seasonal normal and volume picks up to normal through the central basin and the catchment area of NYC drinking water reservoirs, increasing to above normal at Long Island. Sacandaga River is recorded with above normal flow near Hadley. Streamflows are mostly normal through the south-flowing basins, one station records above 90th percentile for the much above normal rating in the Ramapo River watershed.

Drought Map
7-day average streamflows from the USGS monitoring network in NYS
Good news and bad news Saturday. First the bad news, Oswegatchie River channel through St Lawrence County has rated with moderate hydrologic drought overnight. Adjacent Black River, the remainder of St Lawrence River and part of the Upper Hudson River watersheds hold to the below normal rating that has prevailed here for weeks. The good news is, long-dry Lower Genesee and Niagara River - Lake Erie north strip have cleared off the drought map Saturday while adjacent Lake Ontario minor tributaries west section remains rated below normal through Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties. Allegheny River watershed holds the below normal rating at Chautauqua County in the southwest.

Drinking Water Advisories
Fulton County: A BWA was issued for Mayfield Wednesday following repairs to a leaking water main. The loss of pressure in the system may have allowed for the incursion of microbiological contamination, prompting the boil order until the water tests determine potability.

WT USA Flows and Flood Tracker provisional data from the network of USGS streamflow monitors

Seventy-five streamflow gauges record flooding in the USA Saturday, down from seventy-six Friday. WT tracks the nation's most common natural disaster dynamics through the states of New York, Ohio, Georgia and Louisiana. As of this report, nineteen sites record flooding on the network, five in Georgia, fourteen in Louisiana.

Georgia: Gulf of Mexico basin's Withlachoochee River flooding continues at Skipper Bridge Rd near Bemiss, expanded overnight down to the station at US84 near Quitman. Flood stage breached Friday just before 6 pm near Quitman, now running close to a foot over on an increasing flow trend. Flooding in the Atlantic basin has also changed overnight, adding Little Satilla River, flooding near Offerman as of late afternoon yesterday, presently recorded two to three inches above flood stage on a level flow trend. During the writing of this report, Satilla River ceased flooding at GA158 near Waycross. Savannah River continues to run outside the channel near Cylo. See black tags indicating flow volume and gauge height, blue tags for 99th percentile flows updated daily here.

Louisiana flood watch has ended as of this morning. As of Saturday noon there are fourteen flood events registering on the USGS network of streamflow gauges in Louisiana. New flood incidents added overnight include Bayou Nezpique flooding LA-190 near Basile around 815 last night and Mermentau River flooding south of LA-190 at Mermentau in Region 5, flooding on and off starting yesterday morning, flooding steadily since 8pm last night. Bayou des Cannes is still flooding LA-190 near Eunice. In Region 7, Pearl River tributary Bogue Chitto is no longer flooding near Bush. Pearl River itself is still flooding near Bogulusa and downstream at the Town of Pearl River. Region 1 Bayou Bodcau continues a slow decline, three and a half feet above the basin near Shreveport. In Region 2, Little River flooding continues. South into watershed Region 4, Sabine River flooding continues at three monitored sites, one near Burkeville, Bon Wier and Ruliff stations. Calcasieu River carries on flowing out of the channel near Glenmora, trending steady in moderate flood stage near Oberlin and increasing in flow volume near Kinder. Tributary Ouiska Chitto continues to flood near Oberlin. See black tags indicating flow volume and gauge height, blue tags for 99th percentile flows updated daily here.

As many drinking water facilities are supplied from surface water reservoirs, the streamflow situation is pertinent to both drinking water supply and quality. High flows can stir up sediment and cause turbidity in the reservoirs, requiring additional treatments to render the water potable. Low flow volume is linked to warmer temperatures in the reservoir and can be an issue for water quality where HABs are present. WT tracks streamflow trends with an eye to the impacts on drinking water supply and quality in each of the state's watersheds. Check the watershed layer on the map to see the direction of flow and streamflows that may be impacting drinking water today.

USGS Provisional Data Statement
Data are provisional and subject to revision until they have been thoroughly reviewed and received final approval. Current condition data relayed by satellite or other telemetry are automatically screened to not display improbable values until they can be verified.
Provisional data may be inaccurate due to instrument malfunctions or physical changes at the measurement site. Subsequent review based on field inspections and measurements may result in significant revisions to the data.
Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data or concerning other hydrologic data may be obtained from the USGS.

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