Passaic River Flooding


Officials Outline Three Possible Solutions To Flooding - April3, 2014 -

Officials Ask DEP To Prep Reservoirs For Flood Season - March 27, 2014 - North

          Senate To Vote On Flood Insurance Premiums Hike - January 8, 2014 -


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   Historical Crests on the Passaic River at Little Falls 1900 thru 1939             Data from NWS

  Crests 1900-42

   Historical Crests on the Passaic River at Little Falls 1940 thru 1979

  Crests 1943-85

   Historical Crests on the Passaic River at Little Falls 1980 thru 2012

  Crests 1986-2015



 David Rumsey Map Collection - Passaic Valley 1888

      Among other development in the basin Willowbrook Mall was built in the mid 1960's prior to many environmental restrictions on wetlands development. Elevation of the property there had been at or below that of the streets that today run between it's perimeter and the Passaic River. The land was backfilled and raised near seven foot on average on what had previously been farms, woods, streams and ponds leaving the streets there leveed between the mall and the river. The clear waters of Singac Brook were diverted from its' original path to enter the Passaic River along Fairfield Road between Route 80 and Route 46. The remains of its mouth between Riverside and Riverlawn Drives was then used for unfiltered parking lot drainage, became stagnant and was eventually culvertized. While the mall wasn't the only development to compromise wetlands it was one of the largest single projects for the area. Older residents of those streets note that flooding hadn't been a problem until 1968, not long after the mall had been built.  Today development throughout the watershed risks reducing the ability of those lands to absorb rainwaters which with development, will instead be collected over shingles and asphalt and funnelled into stormdrains feeding directly into the brooks and streams that flow into the river making it rise faster...and higher.


     Effects of Urban Developement on Floods - USGS

     Flooding And Flood Risks / New development -

     EPA And Flood Risk / Programs And Perspectives (ppt) - July 14, 2009 - US EPA

     Governor Talks New Milford Flood Prevention - May 2, 2012 -


New Jersey Highlands

     Summary of NJ Highlands Water Protection And Planning Act - Rutgers

     New Jersey Highlands Council Website

     DEP Guidance For The Highlands Water Protection And Planning Act

     Will Christie Nominees Weaken Water Protection Act? - May 19, 2011 -

     To Save Highlands Act, Pay Off Landowners - May 29, 2011 -

     An Unhappy Anniversary for the New Jersey Highlands - August 11, 2011 - NJSpotlight

     Highlands Act Saves Thousands of Acres But Causes Friction - October 26, 2011 -

     Highlands Council Votes To Oust Director - March 16, 2012 -

     Governor Christie Undermining Highlands Act - April 22, 2012 -


Stormwater and Runoff

 During heavy rains the combined sewer system in Philadelphia often becomes overloaded and discharges raw sewage into the Schuykill and Deleware Rivers. To comply with EPA regulations the city is reducing the amount of rainwater entering it's storm drains to begin with through the use of permeable roads, rainbarrels, raingardens, vegetated roofs, new trees and new parks. This approach helps prevent rainfall from entering the waterways too quickly while providing a more natural level of filtration.  See Stormwater and Runoff for information.


De-Snagging (Clearing The River Of Trees And Branches)

      Excerpt from The Annual Report of the State Geologist of New Jersey for 1869

"All the work of throwing trees and roots out of the river between Two Bridges and Horseneck Bridge, while these obstructions remain below (the level of traprock and Beatties Dam), is so much time and labor lost. One might as well throw trees and stones out of a mill-pond to make the water run, while there is a good tight dam backing it up."

      Bill To Direct $3M For River De-Snagging - July 11, 2013 -

      Bill Would Ease River Cleanup Permit Restrictions - December 9, 2015 -

Morris Canal Feeder Dams

     History Blocks Possible Fix For Flooding - August 24, 2010 -

     Pequannock Concerned With Plan For Feeder Dams - July 4, 2011 -

     Feeder Dam Removal Worries Pequannock Officials - March 29, 2012 -

     State Feasability Study Of Removal Of Pompton and Pequannock Dams - June 2012

     DEP Decides Not To Demolish Dams - January 9, 2013 -

     Officials Disappointed With Dam Study Results - February 7, 2013 -


Beatties Dam & Traprock at Two Bridges

     Excerpt from the book, 'The Passaic River: Past, Present, Future'

"These (mills) began operation in the early 1770's. To provide for power to this industry, (Captain James) Gray dammed the river at the head of the Little Falls. The dam caused problems. When the river rose, the water spilled over the banks upstream and onto the nearby farm lands. The farmers suffered crop losses and asked Gray to remove the dam or lower it in periods of high water. Gray did nothing, so the farmers took matters into their own hands. Armed with crowbars, sledges, and other tools they descended on the dam, and down it went. This resulted in a lawsuit between Gray and the farmers, and, while initial court decisions favored Gray, the matter was not fully settled prior to the (American) Revolution." "His revenge for the dam wrecking was to lead a company of irregulars in raids on the farms in the Little Falls vicinity. During these sorties farms were plundered, homes burned, and horses and cattle driven away."


     Annual Report of the State Geologist of New Jersey for 1869    e-book

     Vicinity of Beatties Dam Flood Control Study (pdf) - August 1989 - USACE

     Report Calls For Reexamination of Beatties Dam - February 24, 2011 -

     Engineers Find Solution To End Flood Woes - October 19, 2011 -

     Demolish Dam, Say Engineers - November 17, 2011 -


Ramapo River / Pompton Lake Flood Gates - Began Operating February 2007


     The Passaic Flood of 1903 -

     Laughtenberg-Menendez Flood Control Project - March 22, 2006

     Some Doubt Effectiveness of Flood Control Projects - July 30, 2006 - The Record

     NJDEP Flood Control

     Flood Gates at Crossroads - October 11, 2010 -

     More Eyes On The Dam - March 14, 2011 -

     Pleasureland - March 21, 2011 - Belle Of Liberty's Blog

     Laughtenberg Questions Army Corp - April 13, 2011 -

     Firm To Investigate Floodgates - September 02, 2011 -

     DEP Still Working On Floodgate Report - February 15, 2012 - Wayne Patch

     AECOM Floodgates Operation Report - April 12, 2012

     Report: Heavy Rains, Not Dam, Have Caused Flooding Increase - April 13, 2012 -

     Flood Gate Report Upsets Officials - April 19, 2012 -

     Governor Orders Lowering Of Pompton Lakes - October 12, 2012 - Office Of The Governor

     Lowering Lake Before Storm Spared Area Flooding - November 1, 2012 -


     Videos of Pomton Lake Flood Gates / Hamburg Turnpike

Lowering Reservoirs

     Lowering the water levels in reservoirs would allow them room to accept and store rainwater
     that would otherwise overflow directly into the rivers, potentially contributing to downstream

     New Jersey Assembly Bill A-267 / S-1406 - Introduced January 2012
     Requires DEP and owners of reservoirs to implement certain flood control measures, and
     authorizes the Office of Emergency Management to order lowering of reservoirs in response
     to severe weather events.

     New Jersey Assembly Bill A-1069 - Introduced January 2012
     Authorizes Office of Emergency Management to order lowering of reservoir levels prior to
     certain severe weather events.

     Officials Ask DEP To Prep Reservoirs For Flood Season - March 27, 2014 - North


Governors Passaic Valley Flood Control Committee 1955


Passaic River Flood Advisory Commission 2010

      DEP Commissioner Bob Martin
      401 E. State St.
      7th Floor, East Wing
      P.O. Box 402
      Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

      New Jersey State Police Superintendant Col. Rick Fuentes

      Assemblyman Scott Rumana

      40th District - Little Falls, Mahwah, Oakland, Wanaque and Wayne
      155 Route 46 West
      Wayne, NJ 07470

      Mayor Kathleen Cole - Borough of Pompton Lakes
      Borough of Pompton Lakes
      25 Lenox Avenue
      Pompton Lakes, New Jersey 07442
      973.835.0143, ext. 240 / 862.377.5391

      Mayor Frank DeFrancisci - Township of Little Falls
      225 Main Street 2nd Floor
      Little Falls, NJ 07424

      Robert Steven Prezant, PH.D. -
      Dean of the College of Science and Mathmatics, Montclair State University

      Montclair State University
      Richardson Hall 265
      Montclair, NJ 07043

      John Miller, P.E., CFM, CSM - Water Resource Engineer


     Commission Recommendations - January 2011

     Officials Present Flood Solutions - April 28, 2011 -

     Progress Report - February 15, 2012

     Commission Fails To Address Local Concerns - April 19, 2012 -

     Officials Ambivalent About Latest Flood Study - July 5, 2012 -

     Army Corp Presents New Flood Study Plan - July 16, 2012 -


Central Basin Regional Flood Board

One Year After Irene Flood Board Demands Action - August 30, 2012 -

Flood Buyouts

     Townships that receive FEMA grant monies have the option to spend it on buyouts, home
     elevations and house movings. 

     Hazard Mitigation Assistance - Property Acquisition (Buyouts) - FEMA

     Green Acres Program / Blue Acres Floodplain Acquisition - NJDEP

     FEMA Continues Buyouts In Hoffman Grove - November 24, 2011 -

     Wayne To Receive $6M For Home Buyouts - December 9, 2011 - NJPatch

     $28 Million For Home Aquisitions - December 13, 2011 - State of New Jersey

     NJ Residents Say Buyout Program Falls Short - January 30, 2012 - Insurance Journal

     Christie Announces $21M Grants For Buyouts And Elevations - March 12, 2012

     Wayne To Recieve $18M For Flood Buyouts - July 20, 2012 -

     Flood Victims Can Apply For New Buyout Funds - May 30, 2013 -

     Wayne Awarded Largest Payout In FEMA History - December 26, 2015 -

     Wayne Continues With Flood Buyouts - February 18, 2016 -


Home Elevations

     Increased Cost Of Compliance Coverage  - FEMA

     Little Falls Receives $365K For Home Elevations - September 15, 2010 -

     Pascrell Announces $10.2M For Home Elevations - September 13, 2011

     Little Falls Awarded $5.6M For Home Elevations - September 22, 2011 -

     Little Falls To Bond $2.5M For FEMA Program - February 2, 2012 -

     Little Falls / Pompton Lakes Awarded $2M In Grants - May 30, 2012 -

     Long Haul For Pompton Lakes Buyouts And Elevations- July 16, 2012 -


Flood Insurance

     Pompton Lakes Seeks To Lower Flood Insurance Premiums - July 5, 2012 -

     Flood Insurance Costs To Surge - July 8, 2012 -

     FAQ On New Rules For Homes In Flood Zones - January 26, 2012 -

     Flood Insurance Changes Hit Resistance, Face Delay - July 21, 2013 - USA Today

     Flood Insurance Costs Soaring For Thousands - October 21, 2013 - CNN Money

Related Links

Fairfield For You - Fairfield Citizens for Flood Control Reform

     American Rivers - Dam Removal

     7-Day Weather Forcast - National Weather Service

     10 - Day Weather Forecast -

     Online Map To Show Road Flooding - January 15, 2014 -

     NOAA National Weather Service Inundated Locations Map

National Weather Service - Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service - River Levels

     Current River Stages - NOAA

     Regional Map of River Monitoring Locations - NWS

     Drought Information / Current Reservoir Levels - NJDEP

     New Jersey Flood Watch - USGS

Passaic River Monitoring Stations

     Passaic River Near Millington

     Passaic River at Chatham

     Passaic River at Pine Brook

     Passaic River at Circle Burners

     Passaic River at Two Bridges

     Passaic River at Little Falls

     Passaic River at Clifton (Dundee Dam)

     Passaic River at Newark


Rockaway River Monitoring Stations

     Rockaway River at Boonton Reservoir

     Rockaway River at Boonton Below Reservoir


Pompton River Monitoring Stations

     Pompton River at Pompton Plains

     Pompton River at Midwood

     Pompton River at Mountainview Bridge


Ramapo River Monitoring Stations

     Ramapo River at Ramapo

     Ramapo River at Suffern

     Ramapo River at Mahwah

     Ramapo River at Pompton Lake Dam

     Ramapo River at Pompton Lakes


Wanaque River Monitoring Stations

     Wanaque River at Wanaque Reservoir Elevation

     Wanaque River at Wanaque


Mahwah River Monitoring Stations

     Mahwah River at Suffern


























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 Lower Passaic Cooperating Parties





















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