NOAA 2004-R271
Contact: Karcie Katcher

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NOAA's National Weather Service announced a new flood stage measurement for Great Chazy River at Perry Mills, N.Y., effective May 24. Local National Weather Service and Clinton County Emergency Management officials determined this new measurement of nine feet will enable NWS to provide more relevant flood warnings. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“When we first established the flood stage for this location, we were conservative, setting the flood stage low enough to make sure we didn’t miss the onset of flood problems,” said Greg Hanson, service hydrologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Burlington, Vt. “However, the experience of daily forecasting allowed the National Weather Service and Clinton Country Emergency Management to determine a more appropriate flood stage level."

“In June 2000, we started providing daily river forecasts using data from the Great Chazy River gage located at Perry Mills with great success," said Peter Gabrielsen, NWS chief, Eastern Region, Hydrologic Service Division. "We increased flood warning lead times to four hours from 95 minutes.”

Great Chazy River is a known flood area where ice jams, snowmelt, and heavy rains have contributed to high water problems. While ice jams produce localized flood problems, heavy rain can cause more widespread flooding. Clinton County sustained approximately $10 million in damages Nov. 9, 1996,and was declared a Federal Disaster Area after three to five inches of rain produced devastating flooding all along the Great Chazy, wiping out roads and flooding homes and business property.

Chazy River is a forecast point included in National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services, a web-based service providing information-rich forecasts related to hydrology. A graphic and text display show how long it will take the river to reach flood stage, how high the river will rise and how long the flood will last whenever a forecast is issued. Specific daily river forecasts and weekly and monthly probability forecasts are also available for the river at Perry Mills at NWS AHPS on the Web:

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