Video: The 1936 Connecticut River Flood

Historic Northampton hosts a 6 minute 30 second video on the 1936 Connecticut River flood. View it with Windows Media Player. You will see several feet of water swirling around familiar roads and buildings. This flood imposed $400,000 worth of damage on the city at that time (1936 dollars). Cleanup was a time-consuming process. In the ensuing decade, the Army Corps of Engineers embarked on a major effort to shore up Northampton’s dikes and divert the Mill River away from downtown.

Northampton’s Conservation Commission viewed this video in November 2002 as part of work done on the Flood Mitigation Plan, approved by the City Council in 2004. To us, the city’s experience with flooding underscores the need to respect Northampton’s natural flood mitigation systems, such as our in-town wetlands, and to be cautious about adding impervious surface to areas that are already built up.

See also:

The Great Flood of 1936: Photo Gallery
Views of Coolidge Bridge, Main Street, Pleasant Street…

Northampton Open Space Plan: “This loss of habitat and natural flood buffering areas is Northampton’s most serious environmental problem”

As Hurricane Threat Builds, Has Complacency Set In about Flooding?

Millions of Dollars of Property Outside the Official Floodplain Vulnerable to Localized Flooding

Alewife Study Group: Impact of Development on Wetlands and Flooding
…As a direct result of development on the Alewife flood plain and its low elevation, there is periodic and significant flood damage in the surrounding communities. A 1981 study by the MDC found property damage in the Alewife area to be the highest of any portion of the Mystic River watershed of which it is a part.

UK Blog: Floods and Development, 7/23/07
…the LibDem Councillors, at a recent Cabinet meeting produced documents promoting an increase in “high density developments” in Teddington, Whitton and Twickenham. This is an issue I will come back to as a separate debate on planning, but given the flood risks in the area, should we really be concreting over our green spaces and further reducing drainage potential and increasing flash flood risk?