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





            Purpose and Scope


       Physiography and Climate of New York and the Catskill Mountain Region



       Storm and Floods of January 19-20, 1996

            Antecedent Conditions



                 Flood Discharge and Frequency

                 Storm Runoff

                 Effect of Reservoirs

                 Flood Profiles of Schoharie Creek


       References Cited



       1-3. Maps of New York showing:

            1 A. Major drainage basins, and Federal disaster areas after the flooding of January 19-20, 1996

             B. Selected geographic features

            2.  Lines of equal precipitation from the storm of January 18-19, 1996

            3.  Lines of equal snow depth on January 15, 1996

         4. Map showing major geographic features of the Catskill Mountain region in southeastern New York

       5-7. Graphs showing:

            5. Daily mean discharges of two Catskill Mountain streams from October 1995 through

              January 1996, in relation to daily mean flows exceeded 20, 50, and 80 percent of the time

            6.  Rainfall and runoff at Claryville, N.Y., during the storm of January 18-20, 1996

            7. Snow depth, maximum air temperature and rainfall data from six selected

             National Weather Service stations, January 1996

         8. Map of New York showing lines of equal water equivalent of snowpack on January 16, 1996

         9.  Photographs showing:

           A.Washout on Chase Brook Road across Chase Brook near Cannonsville Reservoir in Delaware

             County, N.Y., on January 19, 1996

           B.Fair Street bridge over the East Branch Delaware River at Margaretville, N.Y., after the flood

              of January 19, 1996

           C. West Branch Delaware River overflow at Delaware Street in Walton, N.Y. on January 19, 1996

           D. Covered bridge over Schoharie Creek in North Blenheim, N.Y., with the height of the January 19, 1996

              and April 1987 floods

        10. Map of New York showing locations of streamflow gaging stations and peak-discharge recurrence intervals

           for the floods of January 19-20, 1996

        11. Graphs showing annual peak discharges through 1996, and discharges of 10-, 50-, and 100-year recurrence

           intervals, for 16 selected gaging stations

        12. Graphs showing peak discharge as a function of drainage area during the flood of

            January 19-20, 1996 at sites within the Catskill Mountain region:

            A. Sites within Schoharie Creek basin

            B. Sites within Hudson River, Esopus, Rondout, and Catskill Creek basins

            C. Sites within East Branch Delaware River basin

            D. Sites within West Branch Delaware River basin

            E. Sites within Neversink River basin

            F. Sites on Delaware River

            G. All sites within Catskill Mountain region

            H. All sites in New York State

        13. Graph showing peak discharge as a function of drainage area for sites on

            Schoharie Creek during the flood of January 19-20, 1996

        14. Map of New York showing lines of equal storm runoff for January 18-23, 1996

        15. Discharge hydrographs of the January 1996 flood, the previous maximum flood,

            and the April 1987 flood, at six continuous-record streamflow gaging stations in

            the Catskill Mountain region of New York

        16. Discharge hydrographs for selected gaging stations in the Catskill Mountain

            region, N.Y., January 18-21, 1996:

            A.West Branch, East Branch, and main stem of the Delaware River

            B.Schoharie Creek

        17. Hydrographs of daily inflow, outflow, and lake or reservoir water-surface elevation

            for selected sites in New York for January 15-31, 1996

        18. Graphs showing inflows to Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs during

            January 19-21, 1996:

            A.Cannonsville Reservoir

            B.Pepacton Reservoir

        19. Profile of Schoharie Creek showing locations of major communities, USGS

            gaging stations, dams, and January 1996 floodmarks

        20. Map of Schoharie Creek basin showing locations of streamflow-gaging stations and major geographic

           features along Schoharie Creek

        21. Water-surface profiles of Schoharie Creek during the flood of January 19-20, 1996



        1. Disaster assistance, for Counties of New York, following the floods of January 19-20, 1996

        2. Storage above minimum operating level in the New York City reservoir system,

           October 1995 through January 1996

        3. Maximum rainfall for selected durations recorded at the Claryville, N.Y. weather station

           during January 18-19, 1996

        4. Rainfall frequency relations for storms of 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-hour duration at Claryville, N.Y.

        5. Peak stages and discharges for the New York floods of January 19-20, 1996

        6. Data on selected lakes and reservoirs in New York during the runoff period of the January 1996 storm


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