Water Levels return to normal?

How quickly does the water levels in the Potomac river return to normal? With all the rain we have been having this week, the gauge at Paw Paw, WV has hit flood stage at 25’. Normal flow is around 7’. I have a trip planed memorial day weekend and want to know if we should plan an alternate… I will continue to monitor the levels, but thought someone on here might have some insite.

See if this helps

You can get historical data as well as real time data on any floodgauge in the country

it’s you and MBernsden , right ??

Water Level Predictions
Check the site for Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service by googling Advanced Hydrologic Paw Paw or Advanced Hydrologic Harpers Ferry

or Advanced Hydrologic Little Falls Potomac. There are likely several places with the name Little Falls.That will give you a graph with at least 48 hours of prediction.

Incidentally, the level at Little Falls on the Potomac determines whether the boat ramp at Riverbend Park is open as well as whether rowboats can be rented at Fletcherscove in D.C. If the level is over 5 the Riverbend ramp is closed off and Fletchers does not rent which put a crimp in the shad season this year.

On the Advanced Hydrologic Little Falls page, if one scrolls down, there is a list of the effects of specific levels at Little Falls. The State of Maryland considers 4.5 hazardous.

I’ve walked the trails at Riverbend a few times over the last month and found normally walkable paths submerged and I will echo Pilotwingz comments about the huge logs traveling down the river at high speed. The normally seen little rock islands near Riverbend have also been submerged.

Pilotwingz also makes a great point about the saturation of the ground causing all new rain to go towards quickly raising the river level.

Save the trip for a safer time.


according to this
which pilotwingz sent me awhile back… the “normal” level at Paw-Paw is 3’, not 7’


here’s something else you can do …

– Last Updated: May-22-11 10:35 PM EST –

...... when studying the USGS gage site locations .


when you pick a gage site to look at , say Pawpaw , Hancock , Point of Rocks etc. (all Potomac sites) ... in the parameters box you can chose (type in) the number of days to review past gage levels . For instance , I mostly look at the past 7 days but sometimes I type 45 days in there instead of 7 , just to look back on the river farther and see how it's trend has been .

The site lets you look back as far as the last 120 days .

For all the help. We have decided to post pone until the levels are better.

good choice I think …
… Potomac through your proposed section (actually all Potomac) didn’t make it down to normal levels this week and is starting to rise again right now .

I was thinking the Monocacy from Buckystown (or above) on down to the take out at Mouth of Monocacy Aquaduct is holding at safe levels right now but may rise some over the weekend ?? (3’ on the Frederick gage is about tops for safe/normal) . The Monocacy Aquaduct (C&O Canal) will be totally blocked by debris from this years earlier floods , but the take out is just before the Aquaduct .