Although the Hurricane Season in New England is defined as June 1st to November 30th, 75% of the over 40 tropical systems that have impacted our region in the past century have struck during the months of August and September.  The last severe hurricane to hit Massachusetts was Hurricane Bob in August 1991.  Bob, a Category 2 Hurricane, with winds between 91 and 110mph, caused almost $1 billion in damage.  More recently, Hurricanes Edouard (1996) and Bonnie (1998) threatened the Bay State, but veered out into the Atlantic as they traveled up the coast.  In 1999, Hurricane Floyd, although weakened to a tropical storm prior to its arrival in the Commonwealth, demonstrated that these storms are not merely ‘coastal events’.  Most of that storm’s damage was rain and flood related, causing severe damage as far west as the Berkshires.  In fact, some of our most devastating flooding associated with these storms has occurred in Central and Western Massachusetts – up to 17” of rain fell in association with the 1938 Hurricane and 25” of rain fell over a 5-day period in August 1995 from Tropical Storms Connie & Diane. The City of Westfield received 13.15” in a single day!

Southern New England lies in the unenviable position of receiving all three “Hurricane Threats”, depending upon the track and landfall location: 1) Coastal Inundation due to Storm Surge 2) Widespread inland River Flooding and 3) Widespread Wind Damage far inland.