Remembering the Great SouthCoast Flood of 2010
Twelve years ago, southeastern Massachusetts and a good portion of southern New England were stung by an unusual pattern of heavy rainstorms. The storms caused severe damage and flooding and the loss of at least nine lives in the northeast.
March 2010 was the rainiest March on record in parts of the northeast. It was also the second wettest of any month ever recorded in parts of our listening area.
Southeastern Massachusetts bore the brunt of the heavy rain, particularly in Freetown, where homes flooded, roads and at least one bridge washed away, and a portion of Route 140 was closed due to flooding. The National Guard was deployed to Freetown and elsewhere to assist with evacuations and flood control.
The National Weather Service (NWS) recorded between 10-20 inches of rain in portions of eastern Massachusetts in March of 2010.
"The weather pattern was affected by two large scale influences: El Nino, which transported deep moisture from the Tropics, and a persistent negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, which featured a blocking pattern over eastern Canada," the National Weather Service said. "The pump was primed for significant flooding during the middle and end of March, as three consecutive slow-moving low-pressure systems brought excessive rainfall to the region."
Assawompset Pond in Lakeville, Long Pond in Freetown and Lakeville, Forge Pond in Freetown, and South Wattupa Pond in Westport were just some of the waterways to spill over their banks from the rain. Businesses, homes, and roadways were underwater for days.
Floodwaters from the Taunton River closed a portion of Route 44 in Taunton. Streets in Fall River and Freetown collapsed when undermined by the rain. New Bedford's Route 18 and other low-lying roadways were under feet of water.
Rhode Island was also severely impacted by the flood of March 2010. The Warwick Mall flooded and remained closed for weeks. Rhode Island was declared a State of Emergency by President Barack Obama.
Here's what it looked like: