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Where is the Delaware River deepest? New map poster shows 113-foot answer

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Where is the Delaware River deepest? New map poster shows 113-foot answer


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Where is the deepest part of the 330-mile Delaware River? Where it is also widest, where the river meets the Delaware Bay? Try Narrowsburg, New York. A new map has been published showing the mysterious contours of what is called the “Big Eddy Narrows.” 

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The river, the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi, is 113 feet deep at River Mile 290, counting from Delaware Bay, and visible from the bridge connecting Pennsylvania and New York.  

The Delaware River’s average depth is only four to five feet, although holes of 12 to 18 feet are not unusual. 

A diver with a local search and rescue team said no light penetrates the bottom at all. 

Made a map poster

The map is available as an 11-by-17-inch poster that its creator has donated to benefit the non-profit Upper Delaware Council (UDC), announced UDC Executive Director Laurie Ramie. 

The map was developed by Lisa Glover of Honesdale, who became enthralled with this unique, local claim to fame of the Delaware River and contacted the UDC. 

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Although one might muse that the hamlet of Narrowsburg should have been named Deepestburg, its name is derived from its other distinction of being the main stem’s narrowest part. The river courses through a rock canyon before the bridge, where it is only 200 feet wide. 

Where to see it 

The Big Eddy Observation Deck on Main Street in Narrowsburg has an interpretative sign telling these distinctive topographic features. Here the public also finds a good place to watch for bald eagles as rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and rafts go by. 

Perhaps very few people paddling by or on shore looking at this scenic part of the river are aware of the fantastic underwater depth. 

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This very deep part of the Delaware also is easily seen from the Darbytown Access on the Pennsylvania side. 

The interpretative sign at the deck offers two theories of how the 113-foot hole was created. The first is that a long-drowned “plunge pool” was created from a glacial waterfall. The other theory is that a pothole was formed by tumbling rocks scoured out through erosion.

A whirlpool is often visible at the Big Eddy, where the deepest point is located just downstream from the narrows. 

Log rafts spun like tops

The deeps at Narrowsburg have been known for a very long time, impacting 19th century log rafters. The Wayne County Herald’s Feb. 20, 1873, edition reported that J.I. Appleby and J.E. Miller, of Narrowsburg, out of curiosity took soundings of the river from a boat. They concluded the river was 101 feet. “Rafts in coming down the Delaware are frequently drawn into this eddy and sometimes detained for days,” the article reads. “Whenever the wind is blowing with any force, rafts are sure to be drawn into this eddy where they have to remain until the wind calms.” 

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The Herald republished an unattributed column from The Middletown Mercury on Jan. 20, 1881, stating that log rafts caught in the Big Eddy “may spin around like a top for an hour.” Rafts so caught could create a river traffic jam of a hundred rafts. “I have seen 500 rafts in here at one time, some of them on top of each other, and some turned up on edge, and others bottom side up,” the columnist penned. 

Extensive research 

The UDC press release states that Glover read articles from the UDC’s “The Upper Delaware” newsletter which led her to interviews with National Park Service divers who had measured the hole. Glover also found various illustrations. 

She spoke of her desire for an accurately detailed map of the river bottom with the hope of potentially solving the mystery. Although topographic maps exist showing the elevation of landforms above “sea level,” bathymetric maps show depths of landforms below water. 

Glover, in her research, discovered that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) had published a LiDAR scan of the Delaware River in 2020 and reached research scientist John Young, who provided a digital map focused on the Big Eddy section, the press release states. 

Obtaining a map 

From her research, Glover designed a topobathymetric color map with 10-foot contour lines and to-scale cross sections of The Narrows and The Deeps, printed 50 copies, and offered a stack to the UDC to share with the public as a fundraiser.  

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The Big Eddy Narrows poster is available for a $20 donation to the UDC. 

Contact Administrative Support Stephanie Driscoll at stephanie@upperdelawarecouncil.org or 845-252-3022, or stop by the UDC’s office at 211 Bridge St. in Narrowsburg (next to the firehouse) on weekdays for pick-up. 

Payment must be by check or cash. Add $3 for mail orders. 

Glover is affiliated with Highlights for Children, the Stourbridge Project, the Wayne County Arts Alliance and the Center on Rural Innovation, for which she is their Placemaking Fellow. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master of engineering degree from Lehigh University and likes to use a paddle board. Her website is lisathemaker.com. 

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Peter Becker has worked at the Tri-County Independent or its predecessor publications since 1994. Reach him at pbecker@tricountyindependent.com or 570-253-3055 ext. 1588.



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Delaware

Today in Delaware County history, May 24

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Today in Delaware County history, May 24


100 Years Ago, 1924: Complaints about a crowd of boys who have been destroying property at Smedley Field, Seventh and Lloyd streets, has led Chief Vance to instruct officers to make an investigation and arrest any and all youths found damaging the fence surrounding the ball park or equipment within the enclosure. As a result of the destructive practices of boys during the winter months, the officials of the Chester baseball club were compelled to expend several hundred dollars for repairs to the fence, stands and dressing rooms preceding the opening of the baseball season.

75 Years Ago, 1949: City Council today flashed the go-ahead signal on a proposal to construct a new headquarters for Chester Police Department by empowering Vincent F. Sanbe, director of parks and public property, to employ two well-known realtors to appraise a prospective site. Sanbe declined to identify the location, but he disclosed that it was vacant ground on which a new structure would be raised. He said James P. Hopkins and William P. Lear will study the site to determine its value before negotiations are started.

50 Years Ago, 1974: Guard dogs managed by trained handlers could be patrolling the perimeter of Delaware County Prison on an around-the-clock basis by the end of summer. So could two-man teams of correctional officers armed with high-powered rifles on motor patrol. The proposals are two of several recommendations made by new Prison Superintendent Edward C. Leiby and tentatively approved by the prison board.

25 Years Ago, 1999: Media borough operations are about to become that much simpler with authorization of the agreement to sell the sewer company. Little Washington Waste Water Company, a subsidiary of Philadelphia Suburban Water, has offered a total package worth in excess of $4 million in cash, bond payments and lease of borough land at the treatment plant. Rather than being an asset, the operations were becoming a concern due increasing federal regulations, capital needs and environmental issues.

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10 Years Ago, 2014: Receiving the support of state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, Matt Silva announced his candidacy Saturday for Upper Darby Democratic chair against incumbent Ed Bradley. His announcement comes four days after Davidson won a close primary against Lansdowne attorney Billy Smith by 11 percentage points. The day after the election, the state representative said the county Democratic chair David Landau has not done anything to unify the party. She had contrasting words about Silva on Saturday. “I believe very strongly that Matt is going to be a transformative leader here in Upper Darby,” she said.

— COLIN AINSWORTH



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Delaware could join other states in requiring health insurance carriers to cover abortion

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Delaware could join other states in requiring health insurance carriers to cover abortion


Delaware could become the 18th state to direct Medicaid to pay for abortion services and the 5th state to require state-regulated private health plans to do the same.

In April, House Majority Leader Melissa Minor Brown’s (D-New Castle) legislation requiring Medicaid to cover termination of pregnancies cleared the House Appropriations Committee.

She has since substituted that bill with a new version requiring all health benefit plans delivered or issued for Medicaid, private health insurance plans and state employee insurance plans to cover abortion in Delaware.

The bill requires that patients seeking pregnancy termination are not subject to any deductible, copayment or coinsurance up to the $750 coverage maximum.

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The bill outlines an exception for religious employers if the coverage requirement “conflicts with the religious organization’s bona fide religious beliefs and practices,” but exclusions are not applicable for termination of pregnancies that are necessary to preserve the life or health of a covered individual.

House Minority Whip Lyndon Yearick (R-Magnolia) joined several of his colleagues in arguing the state does not mandate insurance providers to cover or provide the same cost-share exemptions to other elected health services.

“The requirement to mandate that every entity must provide this elective service and no questions asked unless they’re a faith based institution — I’m disappointed in that. I’m sure there’s very few elective services that we require other companies through their healthcare to provide,” Yearick said.

“I think that it is unfair to force taxpayers who are opposed to this procedure to have to pay for that procedure,” State Rep. Charles Postles (R-Milford) added.

Republicans went on to argue this requirement would only add to the state’s ballooning healthcare spending, noting the bill carries roughly a $500,000 annual fiscal note.

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But Minor Brown said there will be back-end cost saving measures, saying women denied abortion services often lacked the means to cover basic living expenses years following the denial and saw lowered credit scores, increased debt and negative public financial records.

“When you deny a person access to essential healthcare — look at the impact after that. So the woman who’s utilizing Medicaid, and now you’re not allowing her that right to choose because you don’t want to pay for it. But you’d rather her stay on Medicaid, continue utilizing state resources and maybe even with the extra person or two, which — to me — costs more. So just make it make sense,” Minor Brown said.

State Rep. Valerie Jones Giltner (R-Georgetown) argued the state doesn’t have the resources to provide this type of coverage, especially by eliminating any cost-share mechanisms.

“We make tough decisions as legislators as far as making sure that Medicaid is available to many throughout the state. And we’re not blocking access to an abortion — that’s already widely available. We’re not even blocking partial payment of it,” Jones Giltner said. “What we’re saying is that to say that there should be no deductible, no copayment, no anything for anybody that gets an abortion, even if they have private insurance — a private payer — is not sound judgement.”

Minor Brown stuck firm in saying providing for preventative measures would ultimately save the state more money.

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“We don’t have the money to pay for the after effects when we don’t provide care to people and access to healthcare to people. It’s more expensive on the other end,” Minor Brown responded.

The bill passed with only two Republican representatives defecting and now heads to the Senate for consideration.





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DA charges Wilbert Rosado-Ruiz in deadly Delaware County Linen shooting

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DA charges Wilbert Rosado-Ruiz in deadly Delaware County Linen shooting


Two of the victims were listed as stable and one was in critical but stable condition, Gretzky said.

Officials said Rosado-Ruiz had a dispute with one of his female co-workers and she became his first victim. After arguing with her, he stepped outside, made a phone call and returned to shoot her. He then walked around the building firing his weapon at other coworkers, fatally shooting brothers Leovanny Peña and Giguenson Peña.

Rosado-Ruiz then tried to exit the building and noticed the female co-worker, his first victim, and shot at her again, but either missed or ran out of ammunition. He then escaped in his vehicle, a black Scion. Police officers from nearby Trainor spotted his car and arrested him within minutes. Rosado-Ruiz didn’t try to pull out his gun, officials said.

Gretzky said his officers arrived to a “very chaotic scene.” One of the deceased victims had collapsed near the entrance of the building.

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“First responders encountered another victim who was shot multiple times — and I have to commend my officers, because they put a tourniquet on the male and then in the laundry area, they put him in a laundry bin and they wheeled him outside to get him to better medical assistance,” Gretzky said.

Stollsteimer said Rosado-Ruiz didn’t have a criminal history. He has been an employee at the business since 2016.

“My understanding is that he has been complained about by other employees of the business,” Stollsteimer said. “I believe there was a meeting of employees with the owner of the business the day before. This was not unusual that he was having a verbal altercation or verbal problem with one of the employees.”

Stollsteimer couldn’t comment on reports Rosado-Ruiz openly carried a weapon at work.

“This is a continuing investigation. As more information comes to light, it will flush out that story for us,” Stollsteimer said.

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The mass shooting at the 2600 block of West Fourth Street brought Chester to a halt. The regularly scheduled City Council meeting ended early in the aftermath of the crisis.

Delaware County Linen reopened for business Thursday.



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