Extent and frequency of floods on Delaware River in vicinity of Belvidere, New Jersey

Open-File Report 66-43




A stream overflowing its banks is a natural phenomenon. This natural phenomenon of flooding has occurred on the Delaware River in the past and will occur in the future. T' o resulting inundation of large areas can cause property damage, business losses and possible loss of life, and may result in emergency costs for protection, rescue, and salvage work. For optimum development of the river valley consistent with the flood risk, an evaluation of flood conditions is necessary. Basic data and the interpretation of the data on the regimen of the streams, particularly the magnitude of floods to be expected, the frequency of their occurrence, and the areas inundated, are essential for planning and development of flood-prone areas.

This report presents information relative to the extent, depth, and frequency of floods on the Delaware River and its tributaries in the vicinity of Belvidere, N.J. Flooding on the tributaries detailed in the report pertains only to the effect of backwater from the Delaware River. Data are presented for several past floods with emphasis given to the floods of August 19, 1955 and May 24, 1942. In addition, information is given for a hypothetical flood based on the flood of August 19, 1955 modified by completed (since 1955) and planned flood-control works.

By use of relations presented in this report the extent, depth, and frequency of flooding can be estimated for any site along the reach of the Delaware River under study. Flood data and the evaluation of the data are presented so that local and regional agencies, organizations, and individuals may have a technical basis for making decisions on the use of flood-prone areas. The Delaware River Basin Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey regard this program of flood-plain inundation studies as a positive step toward flood-damage prevention. Flood-plain inundation studies, when followed by appropriate land-use regulations, are a valuable and economical supplement to physical works for flood control, such as dams and levees. Both physical works and flood-plain regulations are included in the comprehensive plans for development of the Delaware River basin.

Recommendations for land use, or suggestions for limitations of land use, are not made herein. Other reports on recommended general use and regulation of land in flood-prone areas are available (Dola, 1961; White, 1961; American Society of Civil Engineers Task Force on Flood Plain Regulations, 1962; and Goddard, 1963). The primary responsibility for planning for the optimum land use in the flood plain and the implementation of flood-plain zoning or other regulations to achieve such optimum use rest with the state and local interests. The preparation of this report was undertaken after consultation with representatives of the Lehigh-Northampton Counties, Pennsylvania, Joint Planning Commission and the Warren County, New Jersey, Regional Planning Board and after both had demonstrated their need for flood-plain information and their willingness to consider flood-plain regulations.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Extent and frequency of floods on Delaware River in vicinity of Belvidere, New Jersey
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Trenton, New Jersey
Report: vii, 44 p.; Plate: 31.15 x 28.59 inches
United States
New Jersey