With steady rain all week, Lake Hopatcong has risen to more than a foot above the 9.5-foot, “high-water” mark at the dam, surpassing the highest point from Hurricane Irene. That storm, which came through the area on August 28, pushed the lake up to 10.49 feet. This week, however, has eclipsed that: the remnants of Hurricane Lee had pushed the lake up to 10.55 feet, as of 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. In just seven hours overnight, the lake rose four inches, the result of intense, driving rain. The map below shows the amount of rainfall over a 6-hour period during the early hours of Thursday—a total of 3 to 4 inches in the Lake Hopatcong region.
Much of the blame for the lake’s rise, though, can be attributed to an absolutely saturated ground after a record-setting wet August, particularly the last several weeks. The second map shows the rainfall of the last 14 days—surpassing 14 inches in much of the area.
NOAA map of the last six hours of rain, as of 8 a.m. Thursday.
NOAA map of the last 14 days of rain, as of Thursday.
This chart shows the rapid rise of the lake this week, particularly overnight. To see the current lake level, click here.