Harpers Ferry National Historical Park preps for post-storm conditions

West Virginia

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (WDVM) — Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is no stranger to flood-like conditions as they experience them almost every other year. This is because the park sits at the point of two rivers. Park-goers are urged to exercise caution in the park and on trails on the property after heavy rainfall, but what else can they expect after a storm like Hurricane Ida?

Harpers Ferry sits at the point of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and when the area is hit with heavy rainfall, the National Historical Park has the potential to experience flood-like conditions.

In preparation for the remnants of Hurricane Ida moving through the area, the National Park Service began moving artifacts and other unsecured items around the low-lying areas to higher ground.

However, the park expects to revert to normal operations as they predict the Potomac River will only reach about 14 feet at its flood crest or highest water level.

Leah Taber, public affairs specialist for Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, says the park is lucky and has not yet reached the flood stage as of Thursday afternoon.

“At this point, the Potomac River levels have not reached what they were predicted to reach so we have not had to close any of our park areas yet,” Taber explained. “That said, we are still exercising caution and watching those water levels as waters come down from upstream.”

She went on to explain that if the water levels do rise into the flood stage, lower-lying areas of the park such as the pedestrian bridge over the Potomac River will have to be closed for the safety of park-goers.

The last time Harpers Ferry National Historical Park experienced flood-like conditions was in 2018 and the last major flood occurred back in 1996 when the river level reached almost 30 feet.

For more information on Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the areas open to the public, please visit their website.

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