The Lower Housatonic River occasionally experiences floods due to poor weather and the thawing of snowpack during the spring. During these flood events, FirstLight issues emergency notifications to local and state emergency response officials in each of the affected communities in accordance with our federal hydro license requirements.
To support the impacted communities’ need to anticipate and respond to flood events, we have an option for members of the general public to automatically receive these same notifications through text messages or emails, which are issued simultaneously with the emergency notifications to local and state officials.
Below is a guide to the notifications sent during the following situations that may impact communities below, or downstream of, the Stevenson Dam:
7,000 CFS – River Statement: River flows below Stevenson are expected to exceed 7,000 CFS, officially activating the Lower Housatonic Flood Plan.
10,000 CFS – Flood Advisory: Flows below Stevenson are expected to reach early stages of potential flooding in low-lying areas.
14,000 CFS – Flood Warning: Flows below Stevenson are expected to cause flooding in low-lying areas.
20,000 CFS (And above) – Flood Warning: Flooding expected to occur or occurring throughout the Lake Housatonic impoundment.
CFS – Cubic feet per second: Refers to the amount of water moving over or through the dam.
The Stevenson Dam is a hydroelectric dam used to store water for hydroelectric generation. It is not a flood control facility, and therefore our ability to ease flows is minimal.