Hubbard Brook – unscathed from Irene’s wrath

Scott Bailey sent an update from Hubbard Brook earlier this week. There was no major damage to the forest or to any instrumentation including our experimental sites in WS3. Rainfall amounts were in the 4+ inch range, which puts Hurricane Irene as the 9th largest precipitation event at HB since monitoring began in 1956. The peak stage at weir 3 was 2.24 ft (0.24 ft above the top of the notch), which ties for the 8th highest flow measured since 1957.  There was very little wind damage in the experimental forest.

However, in the larger drainage basin, the Pemigewasset River, there was pretty serious flooding (see Union Leader article on Plymouth, NH).  The Pemi reached 40,200 cfs at 5:00 AM on the 29th in Plymouth, which is the 9th largest flow in the 107 year discharge record – the longest streamflow record in the state. The two largest events (>60,000 cfs) were in 1927 and 1936.  The 1938 hurricane (Category 5), the most powerful, costliest and deadliest hurricane in recent New England history, was the fifth highest flow on the Pemi with 50,900 cfs.  While there is much less media coverage on flooding from Irene in NH than VT, three rivers set new state flow records (see NHPR story)!