Frenchtown Floods ~~~~~~~
- of 2004 & 2005 & 2006, the near misses of 2007 and August, 2011 and
The Flood of September 8-9, 2011


"Sure. It might flood once every few years - or maybe even more than once in a year.
But I get to enjoy living here the other 360 days of the year, and I have no interest in giving this up".

- Paul Nichols, Frenchtown "River's Edge" Resident - quotatble quotes

Webmaster Comment: Frenchtown is no more flood prone than any other Delaware River town. In fact, we do suffer from flooding far less than some other communities along the Delaware, and the reason for publishing this information is not to scare folks away from Frenchtown as a place to visit or to live, but to give as complete a picture of events in our town as we can.

  • September 18-21, 2004 - 21.7 feet
  • April 2-4, 2005 - 23.6 feet - (limited information on this page)
  • June 28-30, 2006 - 23.4 feet - Includes Planning References for "Next Time"
  • April 15-18, 2007 - A Flood Watch is in effect
  • March 8-12, 2008 - A Flood Watch is in effect
  • March 12, 2011 - another close call - almost exactly three years after the last... Flood level reached 16.0 feet Friday morning, crested just over at 17 feet at midnight, then began to drop slowly - as it is expectd to continue to do over the next few days. And, the best gauge of severity - Paul did not remove his mailbox...
  • August 29, 2011 - 16.69 feet - once again, we "dodged the bullet" when Hurricane Irene brought high winds and rain up the coast in what was advertised as what was to be the worst hurricane to hit the east coast in 50 years. Although Frenchtown was essentially spared, 38 people died in other parts of Irene's path up the coast... Power was lost in our area and some folks in the county (5 miles south on 519) are still without power.
    Although expected to crest above 18 feet, this time, the river crested at only 16.69 feet and was heading back down by 9 am Monday. Paul's mailbox still stands....
  • September 8, 2011 - (projected to reach 19.3 feet ) - The river is back, and it's moving fast - down stream and up over its banks. The river is predicted to crest at 19.3 feet 2 am Friday. At 3:00 pm Thursday, the bridge was still open, but the parking area next to the river was flooded and Paul Nichols' home was already cut off from the road. When we called to see if we could help with a trailer he replied "You can't get to me. Come over on Sunday to help with the cleanup..."


HISTORICAL CREST HEIGHTS OF PREVIOUS FLOODS ~ HOME

see also: Devastation on the Delaware: a book about The Flood of 1955 by Mary A. Shafer

Current Conditions along the Delaware River, courtesy of the Middle Atlantic Forecast Center
Yahoo Group - Delaware River Basin Commission recommended by Hunterdon County Office of Emergencey Management and DRBC.

Frenchtown.com reports:

September, 2004, Frenchtown suffered the worst Delaware River Flood since 1955. (See story of September Flood)

During the first weekend in April of 2005, it happened again...

On June 28, 2006, it happend a THIRD time!
See pages on The Flood of 2006

We were away during the April flood, and returned a week after the incident, so the photos we have posted have been supplied by folks who were here on scene with their cameras.


Occassional flooding is a fact of life in any river town, and Frenchtown is no exception. Pertinent years are 1905, 1955, 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2006.  Here are some interesting photos of the damage done to our bridge during the 1905 flood...



Flood Stages at Frenchtown Bridge
Action
14'
Flooding
16'
Moderate Flood
18'
Major Flood
20'+


Old Bridge photo from Frenchtown Cafe
Old Frenchtown Bridge Photos can be seen at the  Frenchtown Cafe on Bridge Street.




Historical Flood Crests
at Frenchtown-Uhlerstown Bridge
 1903-2011
highest to lowest

(1) 27.79 ft on 08/20/1955
(2) 24.40 ft on 10/10/1903
(3) 23.60 ft on 04/04/2005
(4) 23.40 ft on 06/29/2006
(5) 21.93 ft on 03/19/1936
(6) 21.70 ft on 03/13/1936
(7) 20.70 ft on 09/19/2004
(8) 18.60 ft on 05/24/1942
(9) 17.30 ft on 12/12/1952
(10)
17.00 ft. on 3/12/2011
(10) 15.75 ft on 06/30/1973



Delaware River Flood of April, 2005

The Food at Frenchtown Bridge. 2005.0406
The Frenchtown Bridge at Flood Stage Plus - 6:00 am Wednesday April 6, 2005
all recent, color photos on this page  by J.Boriek
Come back and see more of Joel's recent flood photos to be added to these pages.

To see comparisons of the river height of last September's flood and where it normally is, see
Kathleen Connally's bridge photo  and our own photo from the September Flood.
Nishisackawick Bridge,
              Frenchtown Flood 2005Here's the Nishisakawick Bridge on Route 29, Monday, April 4.
Looking north towards Frenchtown. This bridge is 100 yards from the river and the flooding extends another 100 yards to the east.
Frenchtown was cut off from Route 29 to the south
photo by Joel & Carol

Trenton Ave Frenchtown Flood April
              4, 2005
The flooding was so severe, that it filled Trenton Ave (State Highway 29) from the Nishisackawick Bridge almost into Bridge Street in Downtown.

As it was, the Post Office was flooded, as were the buildings nearby.

Last time, the Post Office was spared. This time, operations moved to Milford and the Post Office was replaced by a Mobile Unit...



Note the canoe ready to go into service if needed. Dave Apgar did paddle around this area in a canoe in September. Watch for photos from Dave & Jen coming soon..





photo by Joel & Carol

Webmaster's disclaimer for the record:

Frenchtown is no more flood prone than any other Delaware River town. In fact, we do suffer from flooding far less than some other communities along the Delaware, and the reason for publishing this information is not to scare folks away from Frenchtown as a place to visit or to live, but to give as complete a picture of events in our town as we can.

The floods of Sept 2004 & April 2005 were noteworthy events, and very dramatic. The floods impacted many of my own friends who live lower in town and closer the river. In September, Mike's rear deck floated away into his neighbor's yard. This time, everything the entire first floor ofhis house was ruined. In September, Dave enjoyed the novelty of canoeing around his house. In April, he was made homeless...

In the September flood, Paul lost part of his house. But he got right to work on rebuilding the addition with an eye towards possible future floods. Due to his forsight, by the time of the April flood, the home had been repaired and withstood the flood without further damage. But this time, a classic car he was hoping to restore got flipped over by the force of the rushing water.

These floods were the most dramatic events of the year and should be documented for the future....

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