National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


"The Northeast Floods of January 1996 were the result of a very rapid snowmelt punctuated by a short but intense rainfall. What made this event so unusual was the nature and the intensity of the snowmelt, combined with the intense rainfall for this time of year, over such a large geographical area. The flooding was compounded by ice movement and jamming in many of the rivers and streams. The floods were described by some as a "flash flood" for main-stem rivers due to the unprecedented rates of rise recorded during this event."


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