March 2, 2009

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Funding secured for Upper Delaware flood studies and warning system

WASHINGTON – Final congressional approval of $331,000 for a pending flood mitigation study in the Upper Delaware River Watershed and for the enhancement of the existing flood alert system for the region.

New York Congressmen Maurice Hinchey and John Hall worked to secure $96,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide additional support for the pending comprehensive study to mitigate future flooding in a number of areas within the Upper Delaware River Watershed. Hinchey also obtained approval of $235,000 for the development and implementation of a Delaware River Enhanced Flood Warning System, which will be done along with the Delaware River Basin Commission. The funds are included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2009, which passed the House.

The Army Corps studies will investigate and identify opportunities for flood damage reduction and environmental restoration in a number of areas in the Upper Delaware River Watershed. The studies will seek to minimize the impacts of future flooding and prevent further losses of life and property.

Most of the funding will apply to New York tributaries that empty into the Delaware River.
The studies expand upon the Army Corps Reconnaissance Study that was completed for the Upper Delaware River, which addressed flood damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, water quality control, and comprehensive watershed management.

Funds allocated for the Delaware River Enhanced Flood Warning system project will assist the Delaware River Basin Commission in its efforts with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey and Army Corps to enhance the basin's flood warning system, which is currently in place.

These funds will help evaluate and improve existing precipitation and stream gage networks and develop additional NOAA flood forecast points in both non-tidal and tidal stream reaches. The enhancement will also include the merger of GIS and Doppler radar technology to improve flash flood warning capabilities for smaller watersheds.

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