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10 Epic Storms That Have Walloped New England Throughout History

November 30, 2016

We all know that to live in New England we have to be prepared for some pretty crazy weather conditions. The southern coast is prone to hurricanes, the midwest experiences record low temperatures, and mountainous areas know to expect excessive snow accumulation.

New England deals with all these weather conditions and more, meaning that we have racked up some of the most terrifying and deadly storms in the country. The following 10 have gone down in history for the damages and loss of lives they caused.

1. The Great Blizzard of 1888

More snow plummeted to earth during the Blizzard of 1888 than during any one storm in history. It was mid-March and spring had sprung in New England. By the time it was over ten states had been buried in three, four, and five feet of snow that drifted up to 40 feet, and more than 400 souls had lost their lives in New England alone.

Image Credit: Flickr/Keene Public Library


2. The Great New England Hurricane, 1938

The most powerful and deadly hurricane in New England’s documented history made landfall on Long Island on September 21, 1938. When it reached Cape Cod it caused more than 8 feet of flooding and tore up the coast destroying anything in its path. 99 New Englanders had died by the time the storm passed.

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Sheldon Dick


3. The Twin Hurricanes – Carol & Edna, 1954

62 years ago, 2 Category 3 hurricanes battered New England less than 2 weeks apart. Winds up to 130 mph caused millions of dollars in damages. 21 people in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts lost their lives.

Image Credit: Wikimedia


4. 1969 Nor’easter

Between February 8 and February 10, 1969 areas of New England received record snowfall during a storm that experts had predicted would be little more than a dusting. Areas of Maine were buried in up to 42 inches of powder. Boston took 26 inches and wind gusts reached more than 100 mph on Cape Cod.

Image Credit: Wikimedia


5. The Blizzard of ’78

This blizzard resulted in record snowfall across New England. Boston received a record-breaking 27.1 inches and Providence also broke a record, with 27.6 inches. Thousands were injured and at least 73 Massachusetts residents were killed during the massive 2 day storm.

Image Credit: Flickr/ City of Boston Archives
Image Credit: Flickr/ City of Boston Archives


6. Hurricane Bob, 1991

The second named storm of 1991 ended up being one of the costliest in New England history, hitting landfall in Connecticut as a Category 2 storm on August 19. By the time it was done with the northern coast, damages totaled more than $1.5 billion.

Image Credit: Wikimedia
Image Credit: Wikimedia


7. April Fools Day Blizzard, 1997

On March 31, 1997 this surprise storm took New England completely off guard. More than 3 feet of snow piled up at a time when most towns had put away their plows and sanders for the year.

Image Credit: Wikimedia
Image Credit: Wikimedia


8. The Blizzard of 2005

On January 24 and 25 of 2005 New England was hit with whiteout snow conditions that resulted in record accumulation in many areas. Plymouth and Salem, MA ended up with 38 inches. Heavy winds caused drifts of up to 7 feet in some areas.

Image Credit: Wikimedia


9. Hurricane Sandy, 2012

Sandy’s wrath resulted in $75 billion in damages – topped only by Hurricane Katrina. New England roads, schools and businesses were shut down and a state of emergency was declared in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine.

Image Credit:
Image Credit:


10. Winter Storm Nemo, 2013

Record snowfall combined with hurricane-force winds of over 100 mph resulted in more than 700,000 homes losing power. Boston recorded its fifth highest snowfall at 24.9 inches and at least 18 people were killed in the frightening February storm.

Image Credit: Flickr/James Byrum
Image Credit: Flickr/James Byrum


Featured Image: US Coast Guard via AFP/Getty Images)