• The Deerfield River is tributary to the Connecticut River, depicted here in Thomas Cole's famous 1836 painting

  • The Deerfield River in its floodplain eroding through the red sandstone that makes up Mount Sugarloaf.

  • Swimming hole on the Deerfield (photo: Art Schwenger)

  • Rafters enjoying a summer day on the river (Photo: Art Schwenger)

  • Sunset during December over the Deerfield Valley (photo: A Schwenger)

  • Autumn along the Deerfield RIver

Annual Meeting: Oct 20 at 6:30 pm (2015)

Annual Meeting: Oct 20 at 6:30 pm (2015)

(Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls during Irene flooding)

Was Hurricane Irene Really that Bad? The Recollection of Old Timers versus Cold Hard Data.
GREENFIELD, MA – On October 20 at 6:30 pm, the Deerfield River Watershed Association will hold its annual meeting at Four Rivers Charter School. All members of the community are invited to attend a special talk in conjunction with the meeting, titled: “Was Hurricane Irene Really that bad? The Recollection of Old Timers versus Cold Hard Data. — And, Best Practices for the Next Flood.” When big floods occur, old timers always say, “This one was bad, but you shoulda seen the one we had in ___! Now that was a flood!” But can we trust these accounts?
Brian Yellen, a UMass geologist, will present recent findings that put flooding from Hurricane Irene into perspective. His talk will show how Irene stacked up against some of the other notable historic storms to hit our region (spoiler: it really was unprecedented). He will also discuss the role of climate change and the threat for more extreme floods in the future.


In addition, we will hear about how to lessen the adverse impacts of future floods from UMass Geographer Eve Vogel and UMass Hydrogeologist Christine Hatch. Through their initiative “RiverSmart Communities,” they have explored ecologically restorative flood prevention and remediation in New England. RiverSmart is sponsored by UMass Extension and the Center for Food, Agriculture and the Environment.
It promises to be an interesting evening. Refreshments at 6:30. Talk begins at 7 pm. Four Rivers Charter School, 248 Colrain Rd in Greenfield, MA