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VIRGINIA HAS WETTEST MARCH ON RECORD, ACCORDING TO U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

 WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Boosted by the snows and rains of March, streamflows in many areas of Virginia increased dramatically to their highest levels ever for the month, making it wettest March on record statewide, according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.
 "In the James River basin, flows in March were at their highest levels since 1899, when written streamflow record-keeping began," said Byron Prugh, USGS hydrologist in Richmond, Va.
 "And in the Shenandoah River basin, flows on both the North Fork and the South Fork were at their highest levels for March since 1936," Prugh said.
 Across Virginia, many streamflows were three times their long-term average for March. All of the USGS streamflow index stations in the state recorded flows that were above their long-term averages.
 On the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Strasburg, flow was about 2.34 billion gallons per day, more than four times the long-term March average. Near Waynesboro, the South Fork of the Shenandoah measured about 480 million gallons per day, three times the long-term average.
 Average flow of the James River at Cartersville during March was about 20.6 bgd, an all-time high for the stream since record-keeping began in 1899.
 The Roanoke River at Roanoke was at its highest level since 1918, about 1.4 bgd.
 Record-high levels for March were recorded on the following streams: Roanoke River, Dan River, James River, Maury River, Slate River, Rivanna River, Appomatox River, Rappahannock River, Pamunkey River, Goose Creek and the New River.
 Statewide, ground-water levels were either normal or above-normal, in response to the recharge water from the melting snow and rains. The wells in Northern Virginia and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains reported the most significant increases.
 At the observation well at USGS headquarters in Reston, Va., the water level on Monday, March 29, was about 7.3 feet below the land surface, only seven-tenths of a foot below the March record-high for the well, and more than 2.6 feet above the long-term March average for the well.
 Near Washington, flow of the Potomac River increased to nearly three times the long-term March average. The flow was about 41 bgd, compared to normal March flow of about 15.8 bgd.
 Wet conditions were evident throughout much of the Middle Atlantic states, with freshwater inflow to the Chesapeake Bay during March running about 149 bgd, 54 percent above the long-term average for March of about 97 bgd. The Susquehanna River provided about 34 percent of the inflow, the Potomac 32 percent and about 19 percent of the inflow was from the James River.
 -0- 4/2/93
 /CONTACT: Rebecca Phipps of the U.S. Geological Survey, 703-648-4460/


CO: U.S. Geological Survey ST: District of Columbia, Virginia IN: ENV SU:

DC -- DC039 -- 2684 04/02/93 17:13 EST
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Date:Apr 2, 1993
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