One of the larger tributaries to the Mohawk River, the Schoharie Creek flows through Schoharie County from south to north and the approximately 930 square mile watershed drains the northwestern Catskill Mountains. The terrain within the watershed is a mix of mountainous landscapes and flat, narrow valleys, with ground elevations ranging from an average of 1,200 feet in the northern limestone plateau section of the county to ~2,000 feet in the higher plateaus in the southern part of the county. With the headwaters in Greene County at an elevation of 4,000 feet, the Schoharie Creek watershed is particularly prone to flooding due to a number of factors such as the low permeability of the mountainous landscape, the lack of wetland habitats or lakes within the watershed to retain stormwaters, and prevalent winds that push storm air masses up and over the mountains, causing cooling and subsequently higher amounts of precipitation. As the wettest region in New York State with over 60 inches of precipitation annually, individual rainfall events of 5 inches are common, contributing the flash flooding in the area.
In 2017, the Schoharie County Soil and Water Conservation District (SCSWCD) retained Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) to complete a Flood Mitigation Study for the Lower Schoharie Creek watershed. Funding for this study was provided under the NYS Department of State's (NYSDOS) Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The study is integral to implementation of Phase 1 of the Mohawk River Watershed Coalition's Watershed Management Plan.