FLOOD OF MARCH 1968

Image of rainfall totals across southern New England from March 17-19, 1968.

The floods of March 1968 were not as dramatic as some earlier events in terms of the rainfall amounts, nor did it seriously impact the major mainstem rivers of the region. However, its impact in many ways was just as significant since its focus was on the heavily populated areas of eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. No lives were lost due to the flooding; however, damage estimates totalled about $37 million.

Two significant storms impacted southern New England in March 1968. The first was not major, but it did combine with some snowmelt to bring a rise into many of the rivers and streams in the region. The second storm occurred March 17-19 and delivered up to 7 inches of rain with the heaviest amounts occurring just south of Boston.

The Ipswich, Charles, and Taunton River basins among others recorded floods of record during this event.

River Station Flow cfs/sq mile Stage
Ipswich Ipswich 2680 cfs 22 csm 8.4 ft
Charles Dover 3220 cfs 18 csm 8.7 ft *
Neponset Norwood 1140 cfs 32 csm 10.5 ft
Wading Norton 1460 cfs 34 csm 11.5 ft *
Blackstone Woonsocket 15,400 cfs 37 csm 14.6 ft
Pawcatuck Westerly 4470 cfs 15 csm 10.5 ft *
Note: * represents flood of record