Washington May Not Be Able to Recross the Delaware

Low water levels may keep re-enactors stuck on shore
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2017 9:30 AM CST
FILE- In this Dec. 25, 2005 file photo, re-enactor James Gibson, center, waves to spectators as he portrays Gen. George Washington, during the 53rd annual Christmas day crossing of the Deleware river,...   (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek, File)
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(Newser) – The annual re-enactment of George Washington's daring 1776 crossing of the Delaware River draws large crowds of families and history fans to both sides of the river in Pennsylvania and New Jersey each year on Christmas. But the re-enactors may be kept out of the water this year unless Mother Nature provides some help, the AP reports. Organizers say a "pretty significant amount" of precipitation will have to fall in the coming days to raise the river's water levels in time for the event, adding that where and when any snow or rain occurs are also important factors. But they stress that all other events planned at the park on the day of the crossing—including Washington rallying the troops and other historical speeches and processions—will still take place.

Joe Capone, executive director of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park, a nonprofit organization that partners with the Pennsylvania environmental officials to run the park, said that if an inch of rain fell across the river's entire water basin, it would need to be in a large watershed area including northwestern New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania, and even as far as upstate New York. The National Weather Service says no major storms appear to be on the horizon. The low water levels make it impossible to ensure safe passage for the re-enactors and the expensive replica wooden Durham boats that travel from the park in Pennsylvania over to the river's New Jersey side. A final decision on whether to cross the river this year will likely be made a few days before Christmas.


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