Flooding at Silver Lake Park in Dover, Del., on Dec. 18, 2023. PHOTO BY DAVE WOLANSKI
Flooding at Silver Lake Park in Dover, Del., on Dec. 18, 2023. PHOTO BY DAVE WOLANSKI

Batten down the hatches!

| January 5, 2024

Wherever you live in our watershed, flooding is increasing, from Bristol, Pa., to Dover, Del., from Delaware County in New York to the Musconetcong River in northwestern New Jersey.

Photos of flooding on Dec 18, 2023, in Sliver Lake Park and six days later. The spillway from the dam at Silver Lake is the beginning of the St. Jones River, which discharges in the Delaware Bay just north of Bowers Beach, Del. PHOTOS BY DAVE WOLANSKI

And it’s likely to be happening again this weekend, whether it’s in the form of melting snow or rain, it’s smart to keep track of where your community has experienced flooding in the past and give those areas a wide berth.

In inland areas to the northwest, we could be getting a foot or more of snow, with heavy rain south of Bucks County, Pa., likely.

But then we have another dose in a storm that’s due to be a rain event all over the watershed, and since it’s falling on ground already saturated, there’s even more risk of flooding.

In fact, the map from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center puts an ominous-looking orange blob over and around Philly.



The atmosphere is warmer than in previous decades and can more easily absorb water and therefore can release unexpected amounts of rain into backyards and small streams all across the basin.

Heed this advice from the National Weather Service

  • Get to higher ground if you are in an area that is subject to flooding.
  • Follow evacuation orders and heed warning signs. 
  • If you have time before you evacuate, disconnect utilities and appliances. 
  • Avoid floodwaters: It is NEVER safe to drive or walk through them.

Looks like there are similar forecasts all over the basin, so be safe and investigate what’s coming up for your part of the world, especially if you’re traveling.

Read more here about signing up for emergency weather alerts.

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.

Leave a Comment