Weekend Weather

Again we have had rain. Lot’s of rain.
In fact the rain guage at the USGS station nearest to Methuen showed about 3.5 inches of rain in the past 4 days.
The Spicket River rose.
I have found, by watching the guages, for the last few years that a simple seat-of-the-pants rule can be derived.
For each inch of rain we will see a rise of one foot of water in the Spicket River at Methuen.
The river followed this rule this weekend.
Canobieola Road at Venice Road was washed over from one side to the other.
I have some observations.
There are two guages on the Spicket river. Both guages are in Salem New Hampshire. One is at the Hampshire Road bridge near the Methuen line. The other is in North Salem.
The North Salem guage did not show flood stage. The Methuen guage did show flood stage.
What happens between these guages that causes flooding in south Salem and no flooding in north Salem?
Water flow does not stop at State lines and neither should we. The City of Methuen is part of the macrocosm called the Spicket River watershed.
The other observation is contained in a small chart attached to one of the sites that I view.
It lists the top five high water dates. This weekend knocked the #5 event off that chart.
Here is the chart as it will appear after the website is updated sometime in the coming week.

Historical Crests
(1) 12.14 ft on 05/16/2006
Major Flood Stage:12
Moderate Flood Stage:10
(2) 9.07 ft on 03/24/2001
(3) 9.04 ft on 04/18/2007
(4) 8.83 ft on 04/03/2004
(5) 8.53 ft on 02/27/2010
Flood Stage:8
(6) 7.54 ft on 05/27/2005
(7) 7.52 ft on 10/16/2005
(8) 7.02 ft on 03/09/2008
(9) 6.53 ft on 03/23/2003
Action Stage:6.5
(10) 5.70 ft on 05/18/2002
A quick look at this chart shows that only 2009 did not have a historic crest in the past decade.
Is this caused by all the residential construction? I do not know.
The good news is that apparently the coordination set up between all the dam operators on the Spicket seems to still be working.
I would love to see guages at each dam site to show water height and streamflow.
With all the cutbacks in services it looks like these stream guages are not long for active service. Though I see that the City of Salem New Hampshire helps support the North Salem Guage there is no such support for the guage nearest to Methuen. The City of Methuen should step up, forget about State lines, and help support this important measuring station. For as little as $0.25 per home in Methuen they could create a fund that would help defray the costs of the upkeep of this station for many years to come.

admin posted at 2010-2-27 Category: Uncategorized

One Response Leave a comment

  1. #1Jack Burke @ 2010-3-17 06:23

    Almost as quickly as this was published we received a Nor’Easter that soaked us for three (3) straight days. Again the Spicket rose. Again a new high water record. I also finally noticed that the USGS and the National Weather Service list differing heights for flood stage. The Spicket has crested and is now slowly receding. Here is the updated Crest History.
    Historical Crests
    (1) 12.14 ft on 05/16/2006
    Major Flood Stage:12 ft
    Moderate Flood Stage:10 ft
    (2) 9.86 ft on 3/16/2010
    (3) 9.07 ft on 03/24/2001
    (4) 9.04 ft on 04/18/2007
    National Weather service Flood Stae:9 ft
    (5) 8.83 ft on 04/03/2004
    (6) 8.53 ft on 02/27/2010
    USGS Flood Stage:8 ft
    (7) 7.54 ft on 05/27/2005
    (8) 7.52 ft on 10/16/2005
    (9) 7.02 ft on 03/09/2008
    (10) 6.53 ft on 03/23/2003
    Action Stage:6.5
    (11) 5.70 ft on 05/18/2002

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