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Fifteen Years of San Bernard River Levels
Posted on Jun 11th, 2019
Graph by Bob Bailey. Click here for larger of version of graph
The graph shows a past 15-year history, from 2002 to the end of 2017, of channel depth gauge readings at the Phillips 66 San Bernard Terminal, now out of commission. Sea level on the depth gauge is approximately 10 feet, so the red line at 20 feet represents an approximate river rise of an additional 10 feet. Note that the river has risen 10 feet or more seven times in the last 15 years. This gauge was a "staff gauge" (lines and numbers painted on a board) and during periods of flooding the terminal operator used to report daily readings by phone to the National Weather Service so they could issue forecasts. The gauge has been replaced with an automated USGS gauge at Highway 35 bridge that is calibrated with zero at sea level, so it indicates the rise of the river directly without having to subtract channel depth.
You may want to know how to convert readings at the old gauge to comparable readings at the new one. That's one of many topics that will be addressed in FOR's flood program on July 13th, 10 to noon at the Community Center. This graph was first posted on the website on Feb 5, 2018. Historical flood data is now available on the USGS Hwy 35 Flood Gauge website (bottom of this page).