June 14, 2013 —
Due to heavy rains this week the Delaware River level as measured at Montague, NJ is currently at 11.79 feet. It is predicted to rise to 13.7 feet before cresting at 8 p.m. this evening. The river level at the Montague gauge normally measures between five and six feet this time of year. It is running seven to eight vertical feet higher than normal and the water temperature is in the 50s.
By order of Superintendent John J. Donahue, issued on June 11, all individuals are required to wear a properly sized United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) in good and serviceable condition while on board any vessel on the waters of the Delaware River within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This order will remain in effect until the river level recedes below 8 feet, which is not expected until after the weekend. Additionally, swimming is prohibited during this period. “The safety of our visitors is a top priority and we are taking precautions to ensure that all of our visitors have a safe and enjoyable trip to the park,” said Donahue. “We also need our visitors to take proper precautions,” he added.
At higher levels, river conditions include large quantities of floating debris, very swift currents, decreased water temperature and increased hydraulic hazards in rapids and near bridge pilings, as well as increased hazards associated with downed trees and submerged obstacles near the shoreline. It is highly recommended that only very experienced boaters using proper equipment consider a river trip during this period of high water.
Superintendent Donahue would like to remind visitors that there are plenty of alternatives available in the park this weekend. “The park’s waterfalls will be spectacular this weekend from all of the rain that has fallen,” he pointed out. “And the weather will be perfect for a hike on one of our many trails or a picnic at one of our picnic areas,” he added. Rangers at Dingmans Falls Visitor Center will be offering Ranger Talks at 10 a.m. and guided Waterfall Walks at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A Campfire Program will be offered on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at Dingmans Campground. All programs are free and open to the public.