Water flow in Black & Beaver rivers hits record

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The amount of water running through the Black and Beaver rivers right now has never been seen before for August.

In terms of flow, the Black River hit a record for August, being measured at 9,060 cubic feet per second Friday morning.

“Flows along the Black River may be elevated but not at a point to be concerning or lead to any widespread damage,” said John Callaghan. executive director of the Black River - Hudson River Regulating District.

Property may not be in danger, but folks going whitewater rafting could be since more flow means stronger rapids. To keep rafters safe, Adirondack River Outfitters has decided to take an alternate, shorter route along the Black River.

“Approximately the same amount of rapids, but the rapids that are contained in that first half of the river are more manageable at a high water flow than the bottom half,” said Chris Koll, Adirondack River Outfitters Black River base manager.

In Castorland where the Black and Beaver rivers intersect, you can see a pretty noticeable amount of flooding.

“Certainly the residents along the Beaver River and communities downstream should be and are watching those levels closely,” said Callaghan.

The Beaver River’s flow was measured at 2,450 cubic feet per second, an August record. That’s within the National Weather Service’s action stage, and officials are using tools like spillways to mitigate flooding.

“To have water out here it’s kind of strange this kind of year,” said Terry Noftsier, whose backyard is filled with water.

He says the flooding isn’t posing any major problems but it is surprising since the river usually only flows this heavily in the spring.

“It was dry down there since I went down there and bush hogged three weeks ago,” he said.

According to the regulating district, water levels are steadily beginning to recede and should continue to do so for the time being.