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USGS Reports Near Record January Flows In Potomac and Chesapeake Bay; Flood-Tracking Chart for Individuals is Published
Released: 2/3/1998

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Gary Fisher 1-click interview
Phone: 410-238-4259

January streamflow in the Potomac River at Washington, DC, and total flow into the Chesapeake Bay were the second-highest on record, exceeded only by flows in January, 1996, according to the U. S.Geological Survey (USGS). The generally wetter-than normal conditions increase the likelihood of flooding from storms that may follow.

Normal average daily flow in the Potomac in January is about 7.3 billion gallons per day (bgd). Flow last month averaged about 25.1 bgd, or about 343% of normal flow for this time of year. Records have been kept at the Potomac River at Washington, DC (Little Falls) gage since 1930 (67 years).

Normal average daily flow into the Chesapeake Bay in January is about 57.6 bgd. Flow last month averaged about 129 bgd, or about 224% of normal flow for this time of year. Records of total flow into the bay have been kept since 1951 (48 years).

Now available is the "Flood Tracking Chart for the Potomac River Basin," USGS Open-File Report 97-777. This chart can be used by local citizens and emergency-response personnel to track and record the latest river stage and predicted flood-crest information during a flood event. To get a copy, contact the District Chief, 8987 Yellow Brick Road, Baltimore, MD 21237, or call (410)238-4200.

Real-time flow data is available from the USGS on the world wide web at http://md.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_tbl_pg. Monthly summaries with illustrations are available at http://md.usgs.gov/monthly/. Flood stage and forecast information are available from the National Weather Service at http://marfcws1.met.psu.edu/Forecasts/.

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