Flood or Field Day?

The new USGS mobile flood warning system is a boater’s wet dream
Staff Writer

Lifesize/Thinkstock

It’s never been easier for a river rat to catch the perfect spring runoff on the local river, thanks to a fairly new service from the U.S. Geological Survey. USGS WaterAlert sends instant updates on water levels from any of its 7,000-plus real-time stream and river gauges to your phone or Inbox. You can set alerts for when the river is flowing above a certain value (measuring CFS or gauge height), below a value, between or outside two values. Come summertime swimming and tubing season, use it to alert you to water temps.

It should be super useful this spring, since light snowpacks have made the runoff a little less predictable than most years. So while some consider WaterAlert a mere flood warning service, we’re confident that you and your playboat/raft/whitewater canoe will find more… recreational… uses for it. Surfing, anyone?

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