2004 Lehigh Valley Flood

On 18 September 2004 the remnants of Hurricane Ivan produced excessive rainfall in the Lehigh Valley area and caused sudden flooding on local tributary streams that flow into the Lehigh River, including the Monocacy Creek. About 5 inches of rain fell on the Moravian College campus.

The photographs below were taken by J. Gerencher during the storm.

Mosaic of flooding of the Monocacy Creek upstream of the Moravian College campus. About 210 degrees of view of the area within Monocacy Park are shown in the above mosaic of seven photographs.

A car stalled in the floodwaters of the Monocacy Creek at the base of Elizabeth Avenue, near the Moravian College field hockey playing field. The road in the foreground is awash with water flowing down the steep hill because of the heavy rains that were falling at the time the photograph was taken.

The goal nets and score boards are all that remain above water of the Moravian College field hockey area.

The floodplain of the Monocacy Creek downstream of the Moravian College Main campus was set up for the annual Celtic Fest, but the main portion of the floodplain was covered by the floodwaters.

The above mosaic shows about 180 degrees of the flooded Celtic Fest area of the Monocacy Creek.

Some historic buildings slightly downstream from the Celtic Fest tents were damaged by the floodwaters.

This is a closer view of the historic Moravian tannery building on the Monocacy floodplain.


The photographs below were taken by J. Gerencher the day after the storm. Excessive rain fell in the drainage basin of the Delaware River, which created a flood crest that propagated downstream. Shown below are scenes along PA Route 611, which parallels the Delaware River in downtown Easton.

A gas station along the main street is flooded. Some gasoline floats on top of the flood waters and creates an offensive smell, as well as the potential for a fire and/r explosion.

The McDonalds restaurant in the distance is flooded. The gas station pictured in the first photograph of this series is in the foreground.

Car roofs and traffic signs are all that remain exposed above the flood waters very close to the Delaware River.

Maybe the telephone still works. Correct change is needed.


The photographs that follow were taken by J. Gerencher of the flood damage on 26 September 2004, about a week after the storm.

A damaged car sits on the grounds of a cement plant on the floodplain of the Delaware River upstream of Easton, PA. The depth of the floodwaters can be easily visualized by the dirty horizontal line just below the windows on the white silos behind the van.

The erosive power of rapidly flowing water can be easily visualized on this small tributary stream which flows into the Delaware River, upstream of Easton, PA.

The Celtic Fest was in full swing on the floodplain of the Monocacy Creek in downtown Bethlehem only a week after the storm. Using such flood-prone lands for recreational activities is a very wise approach to urban land management.