You are also welcome to join SWA on interactive sites:
Swatara QR Code. Save to your phone.
It's all about Clean Water. Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution.
Share your memories about the Swatara.... Our projects and areas of
interest include the
Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps,
Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara
Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and
Planning a Swatara
Updated Map |
Swatara Water Trail map and guide 7MB 10.12.2017.pdf|
Public access points about every
For comparison, when the
Harpers gauge at our
launch @ 1929 Blacks Bridge Road, Annville reads the following
Road to site #1 is almost covered, not accessible
and partly flooded;
7’ our ramp is covered to
the top gravel border;
9’ the swell puts water onto sites 1-4 & site 8;
10.56', only sites 26-35 do not flood.
National Weather Service provides forecasts for Harper's
and Hershey gauges. Check the gauge nearest your start point.
Beginners should reschedule at 2.2' deep.
if experienced, but water is rising between 3.5' & 4', or below .4'.
Kayaks may float a bit
lower. Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or
|Use caution at dams: With groups, avoid
low-head dam in Jonestown. Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears
into tree line in high water. Hershey dam portage is also on the left. Long, but flat, mowed route. Take out at feeder stream on left before warning sign.|
|U-Tow Canoes Available
Canoe Use agreement:
CANOE USE CONTRACT.pdf
Seasonal Primitive Camping
Camp/2019 Campsite Agreement.pdf
Fishing, hiking, picnicking
Visit the Bordner Cabin in Swatara
Bordner Cabin Drive
thru Swatara State Park 9AM-3PM the 2nd Fri & Sat monthly & 4th Fri & Sat
Mar, Apr, Sep & Oct.
Most recent Newsletter:
About the Swatara Watershed
Rivers Conservation Plan
Swatara on Great Nonprofits:
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exg3cownotQ 9.7.11 On September 7,
2011, People woke up to Tropical Storm Lee, which produced Historic flooding. In
fact, USGS reports that at the Harper Tavern on Swatara Creek crested higher
than it did in Hurricane Agnes, which was 23.72’ (1972). Agnes was a 500-year
recurrence-interval event in the area. The gage got inundated during TS Less,
and USGS equipment got damaged. However, they retrieved a high water mark of
24.46 ft at the gage on September 09, 2011. The flood of record for the
station was June 01, 1889, which crested at 25.6 ft.
Listening to victims of the
2006 flood at FEMA's Disaster Recovery Center at the Ono Fire Company, it
became evident that some spirits were low to the point that certain
individuals vowed not to move back into their homes. Others felt "trapped"
like no one would want to buy their home now that it sustained so much damage,
and to others the flooding was "a way of life" to which they had come
If you live in an area that floods and you lost personal belongings or had to
replace drywall, a furnace, and/or carpeting, you may be asking what you can
do. Short of moving, have you considered elevation?
follows that Lebanon's EMA Director Dan Kauffman passes along from our
consultant, Tom Armenio at Delta Development. You may personally find the
information useful or give it to a friend.
|The property owner’s goal
would be to elevate the house at or above the base flood elevation (BFE). A
local surveyor and/or engineer would need to calculate the BFE for the owner
and would likely need to complete the attached elevation certificate form in
the process for NFIP purposes. |
|The USGS uses
instrumentation at various stream gauges to analyze flood-flow information.
These instruments that read stream stage can indicate how high the stream
stage was during a particular storm, but cannot show how high water got in
the surrounding land and how much land will flood when a particular stream
or river overflows its banks. Typically the USGS will go out and look for
high water marks (on trees, buildings, etc.) that occur during floods. They
can then use this data, along with stream stage data to estimate how much
flooding will occur when a stream or river reaches a particular flow stage.
The USGS keeps real-time stream gauge data on their website, but we’re not
sure if there is any high-water mark data available. (I
know of several Agnes (1972) markings on buildings. For example, Kettering
and Son's at 16th and Cumberland Streets in Lebanon and the barn at Boat
House Road Park, Derry Township) Even so, this information
could probably only be used as a guide, in which case the person might have
to go the surveying route as discussed above. |
|We do have the Flood
Insurance Study for Lebanon County, but would need to know a specific street
address/physical location (not a RR) to see if a property is in the flood
If you decide to elevate
your home or complete other structural changes, be sure to get a building
permit. However, according to Julie Cheney in County Planning, building
permits are not necessary for non-structural repairs like replacing drywall, a
furnace, and/or carpeting.
|September 7, 2011, Lebanon County Commissioners declared a disaster
emergency. A 21.2' crest is predicted.|
|June 28, 2006, Lebanon County Commissioners declared a disaster emergency.
The 18.28' crest moves into an historical third place record height.|
(1) 25.60 ft on 1889/06/1
(2) 23.72 ft on 1972/06/23 (Agnes)
(3) 17.53 ft on 1933/08/24
(4) 17.36 ft on 2004/09/19
(5) 17.24 ft on 1975/09/27
Show More Historical Crests
|Low Water Records
(1) -0.3 ft on 1981/10/ 1
(1) -0.3 ft on 1980/09/ 24
(1) -0.3 ft on 1966/09/ 4
(1) -0.3 ft on 1964/09/ 27
(5) -0.2 ft on 1987/08/ 19
||Widespread flooding occurs with many roads...homes and
||Most homes adjacent to the creek are affected to some
degree. Numerous evacuations are necessary.
||A number of homes along the creek are affected. Some
evacuations are necessary. (27 Roads closed on 9.7.11 at a height of 13.5')
||A number of secondary roads are closed...resulting in some
evacuations. A few homes are flooded.
||High water isolates several houses.
||Several driveways and other minor roadways are affected.
Water begins to enter some basements.