Loyalsock flooding

The article about the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association meeting implies that surface conditions within sub-watersheds affect flooding conditions along the Creek. While that is true to a point, in my past job at DEP, I worked with FEMA on 18 different flood disasters, some of which occurred in the Loyalsock Creek watershed.

The flooding of 2011 was the only one I saw on Loyalsock Creek that seemed to have heavy intensity, short duration precipatation occurring over the entire watershed.

When you receive very heavy rain over a short time period in areas of steep slopes, you will get flooding downstream, no matter if the sub-watershed is forested or developed.

I hear local people claim that on going gas development will increase flooding, but I would not expect it to have much adverse affect in such a large watershed.

But something that will adversely affect future flooding is the building of farm dikes in the watershed. Before the leaves come out, take a ride up Route 87 and watch for the dikes build along the Loyalsock since the 2011 flood.

All of the water that should be lying in farm fields when a stream goes out of bank, is now being channelled downstream where it raises flood levels on those living in the neck of the funnel downstream. I would bet that none of those farm dikes have approval from the local municipalities or from DEP who are supposed to regulate building such structures in the floodplain.

Al Sever