US Geological Survey

Cover image from WRIR97-4252 (click for enlargement, 60 KB) U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4252

Flood of January 19-20, 1996 in New York State

By Richard Lumia


Heavy rain during January 18-19, 1996, combined with unseasonably warm temperatures that caused rapid snowmelt, resulted in widespread flooding throughout New York State. Damages to highways, bridges, and private property exceeded $100 million. The storm and flooding claimed 10 lives, stranded hundreds of people, destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and businesses, and closed hundreds of roads. Forty-one counties in New York were declared federal disaster areas. The most severely affected region was within and surrounding the Catskill Mountains. Damages and losses within Delaware County alone exceeded $20 million.

More than 4.5 inches of rain fell on at least 45 inches of melting snow in the Catskill Mountain region during January 18-19 and caused major flooding in the area. The most destructive flooding was along Schoharie Creek and the East and West Branches of the Delaware River. Record peak discharges occurred at 57 U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations throughout New York. Maximum discharges at 15 sites, mostly within the Schoharie Creek and Delaware River basins, had recurrence intervals equal to or greater than 100 years. The storage of significant amounts of floodwater in several reservoirs sharply reduced peak discharges downstream. This report presents a summary of peak stages and discharges, precipitation maps, floodflow hydrographs, inflow-outflow hydrographs for several reservoirs, and flood profiles along 83 miles of Schoharie Creek from its headwaters in the Catskill Mountains to its mouth at the Mohawk River.

Table of Contents

Download full PDF report   [Full Report, Acrobat PDF (2.7M)]

Adobe Acrobat's .pdf (portable document file) format can be viewed using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader available for DOS, Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX.

Users with visual disabilities can visit this site for conversion tools and information to help make PDF files accessible.

For more information, contact

U.S. Geological Survey
425 Jordan Rd
Troy, New York 12180
(518) 285-5602

To order printed copies, contact

U.S. Geological Survey
Information Services
Box 25286, Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225

Return to the New York District Home Page

USGS Water Biology Geology Mapping On-Line Water Resources Investigations Reports On-Line Water-Resources Reports

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintainer: New York District Publications
Last update: 09:38:52 Tuesday 15 January 2013
Privacy Statement || Disclaimer || Accessibility
FirstGov, 'Your First Click to the U. S. Government'