"Flooding has long been a problem in the Passaic River Basin of New York and New Jersey. Floods in the basin have claimed lives and caused extensive property damage. During the 1950's and 1960's, residential and industrial development expanded dramatically; as a result, damage from flooding costs the public and industries within the basin about $116 million (1994 dollars) annually (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1995). The flood of April 1984 resulted in three deaths, caused $462 million (1994 dollars) in damage, and displaced 6,000 residents (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1995). Structural methods of flood control have been investigated; however, because the basin is highly populated and developed, a satisfactory structural solution, such as a dam or levee, could not be found. In 1976 the Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to study nonstructural solutions to the flooding problem in the Passaic River Basin (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1984). At the conclusion of the study, the COE recommended an expansion and modernization of the existing National Weather Service (NWS) flood-warning and response system that would allow collection and rapid dissemination of �'real-time�" stream level and precipitation data to alert State and county agencies to impending floods, thereby reducing or eliminating loss of life and minimizing property damage (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1984). In response to the need for real-time data, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the COE and NWS, designed and implemented the Passaic Flood Warning System (PFWS). This factsheet describes the flood-warning system and identifies its benefits."
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/