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International Joint Commission Technical Working Group
In April 2011, a combination of record spring precipitation and snowmelt from the third highest cumulative snowfall year on record caused subsequent overflow of the Richelieu River in Canada and Lake Champlain in the United States. Lake water elevation crested at 103.27 ft (31.5 m) above mean sea level, establishing a new lake elevation record for a system that has experienced flood events for at least the last one hundred years. The lake elevation exceeded flood stage on April 13, 2011 and remained there until June 19, 2011, a total of 67 days. Close to 4,000 homes were damaged in both countries causing tens of millions of dollars in damage.
In response to the floods of 2011 in the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain basins, the federal governments of the United States and Canada requested the assistance of the International Joint Commission (IJC) to review and make recommendations regarding a comprehensive study of measures to mitigate flooding. On July 15, 2013, the IJC sent a letter to the U.S. and Canadian governments transmitting the Plan of Study (PoS) proposed by the International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Work Group and conveying the Commission’s recommendations on this matter.
The recommended actions included investment from both federal governments over five years to gather data and develop models to analyze the causes and impacts of flooding and evaluate flood mitigation measures along the shores of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River. By the end of 2014, the IJC will appoint a Technical Working Group (TWG) with members from both countries to address the highest priority needs identified in the PoS: the development and operation of a basin-wide flood forecasting and mapping system and the determination of the best possible flood plain management practices, and flood mapping under a range of water levels.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program is contracted to work with the IJC to assist the Technical Working Group with data acquisition and management, and coordination of the working group meetings.
Working Group Resources
Information for the Technical Working Group will be posted here.
Monthly Status Reports
Click below to view monthly status reports compiled by the LCBP.
MORE ON FLOODING
For more information on the impacts of flooding, please visit:
Get Lake Champlain Flood Information from the National Weather Service.