Date: 2021-10-28 01:30:38
A flood warning remained in effect until just past midnight Wednesday for the Delaware River from Tocks Island south to Riegelsville, the National Weather Service said.
“She’s on her way down,” Easton Highway Supervisor Tom Bartholomew said as he shone a flashlight around the city’s Scott Park at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers. He pointed out wet asphalt where the river had lapped then dropped back, leading to the park’s Delaware River boat launch, as an indicator the high-water mark had been reached.
“It looks like we got lucky,” he added during a check of the city’s waterways just before 9 p.m.
The flood stage at Easton is 22 feet. The preliminary mark of 21.49 feet would be good for 18th highest on record between the city and Phillipsburg, and comes less than two months after Hurricane Ida’s remnants pushed the Delaware River at Easton to a 10th-highest crest of 25.73 feet on Sept. 2.
Federal forecasters had predicted the Delaware River at Easton to crest Wednesday at over 25 feet, just below the moderate flood stage of 26 feet.
“Turn around … don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles,” read the weather service flood warning in effect through Wednesday night for the Delaware River at Tocks Island, Easton-Phillipsburg and Riegelsville.
Easton officials were prepared to evacuate homes along the Lehigh River or Bushkill Creek, Mayor Sal Panto Jr. told city council during its meeting Wednesday night. Crews would be out checking but no major flooding was expected, he said, aside from maybe spots that flood easily like Lehigh Drive.
The federally maintained gauge on the Lehigh River at Glendon showed a preliminary crest about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday of 12.2 feet, well below the 16-foot action stage and 19-foot flood stage.
Most of the rain from the mid-week nor’easter was north and east of the Lehigh Valley, so the Delaware River was expected to be hit harder by rising water levels than the Lehigh River that comes into Easton from the west.
More rain is the forecast Friday. Visit lehighvalleylive.com/weather for the complete forecast.
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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at email@example.com.