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Flood-Damaged Gaging Station On The Skykomish River Is Back In Operation

For release: Immediate
Date: July 30, 1996

A critical river gaging installation--the only one on the Skykomish River--is now working again after sustaining massive damage during the flooding last November, according to the Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS gaging station located on the Skykomish River near Gold Bar, Washington was knocked out on November 29, 1995, when the recorded river flow reached a peak of over 79,000 cubic feet per second.

"The flood really hammered our satellite-telemetry equipment," said John Jern, the USGS hydrologic technician who maintains the station. "We were able to install temporary recording instruments that have kept a continuous record of river levels since the flood. I'm sure a lot of people will be glad to see the real-time river flow data back on line."

The November flood eroded the bank and undermined the foundation of the cement gage house, causing the structure to tip over onto its side, destroying equipment and rendering the station unusable. A new gaging station with state-of-the-art satellite-telemetry equipment was installed last week. The station continually measures the water level in the river and transmits this data to the USGS office in Tacoma, Washington by satellite.

The USGS, the federal government's main earth-science agency, measures the streamflow throughout Washington and operates the largest river satellite-telemetry system in the state. The USGS provides up-to-the-minute river data to the Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, and city and county emergency agencies. The Gold Bar station is the only gage on the Skykomish River and provides critical information for the Snohomish County flood warning network. Now, local residents, state and county officials, and fishermen and other recreational river users can access river flow information for the Skykomish and other rivers, from the Internet at


For information, contact:
John Clemens, Information Officer
(253) 552-1635
(253) 552-1581(FAX)

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