LHF: Photos of historic flood of 2000 sought

By: Lake Hopatcong Foundation/Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum

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If you have lived around Lake Hopatcong for the last 10-years, chances are you remember the flood of 2000. Please look through your pictures and send them to LHHISTORY@att.net for any upcoming event.

Twenty years ago, this week, on August 12, 2000, Lake Hopatcong residents awoke to a stormy Saturday morning. There had been a bit of rain the day before but there was no warning or forecast to prepare the area for what the day had in store. A severe thunderstorm swept in at approximately 9 a.m. and continued for close to six hours, with the rain, at times, coming down at a rate of two to three inches per hour.

Occasional downpours continued for the next couple days and by the time the last rain fell on August 14, Jefferson Township had recorded 18.6 inches of rain and the gage height at the Hopatcong State Park dam reached 11.80 feet, the highest level recorded since the dam was built in 1828.  The storm concentrated on a 10-mile radius of Sparta, dropping some four times the average rainfall for the entire month of August in just a few short days, leaving homes and businesses flooded throughout the region. It was Lake Hopatcong’s “1,000-year event.” 

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of this historic flood in northwest New Jersey, a photography exhibit with accompanying video is being researched and designed by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. The exhibit is being funded by a New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH), a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In preparation for the exhibit, the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum is seeking photographs and video of the flood to add to their archives. Submissions can be made by contacting LHHISTORY@att.net.

Intended for display this year at the LHF Environmental & Cultural Center, 125 Landing Road, Landing, NJ, the exhibit has been postponed, due to COVID-19 until sometime between August and October 2021. The photo collection and video will then be made available to other interested organizations for exhibition and programming purposes.


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