My first trip to Boston's "Museum of Science" as a child included a special on severe weather at The Mugar Omni Theater. When they got to the hurricane part of the film, I was in awe of their destruction, and sort of oddly desired to experience one, until "Bob" hit in 1991. We'll get into that later.

Witnessing severe weather on a screen from the safety of your couch is one thing, being without power, clean water, food, shelter, and relatives for a month is another. Just ask the residents of Puerto Rico, who are dealing with ANOTHER hurricane RIGHT NOW, or at least the effects of Fiona. We won't even talk about Maria.

Thanks to our geographic location, we here in Massachusetts don't really deal with a ton of hurricanes, but we've certainly had some doozies.

5 Hurricanes That Wreaked Havoc In Massachusetts

Satellite view of a hurricane in the ocean on Earth

1. Hurricane Carol (1954).

It's rare for a hurricane to hit New England, I'll rephrase that, it's rare that a STRONG hurricane hits New England, but back in 1954, we had two!

Most of eastern Massachusetts saw sustained winds of 80 to 100 mph, toppling trees and miles of power lines.

2. Hurricane Edna (1954).

The second category 3 storm to hit that year, the two storms were often referred to as "the twins".

All of eastern Massachusetts faced winds of 75-95 mph, with peak gusts on Martha's Vineyard of 120 mph. Portions of eastern Massachusetts and nearly all of Cape Cod and the Islands lost power. (Edna)

3. Hurricane Gloria (1985).

Some were calling this the "storm of the century" due to it's sheer size. Gloria was a category 4 at one point, but by the time it hit New England in September of '85, it was weakened a bit. Gloria was really the first bad hurricane to affect Massachusetts since Hurricane Donna in 1960.

Springfield saw upwards of 7 inches of rain as Gloria's center sort of rolled through Western Massachusetts. Estimated damage was said to be somewhere around $61M, and about 500,000 people lost power.


4. Hurricane Bob (1991).

I kind of remember Gloria, but I certainly remember Bob in August of '91, because a tree nearly destroyed our family car. My father had a sudden urge to move our station wagon just a little further up the driveway because he saw the tree in front of our house start to sway. Within 20 minutes, that tree came crashing down inches from the car!

Bob took more of an easterly track than Gloria did, but the damage was widespread.

Hurricane Bob brought sustained hurricane force winds to the immediate coastal communities of Rhode Island and most of southeast Massachusetts. Strong tropical storm force winds blew across the remainder of the region, with many areas receiving gusts to hurricane force east of the Connecticut River. Wind damage to trees and utility poles was common and resulted in numerous power outages. Over 60 percent of the residents across southeast Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts lost power. Damage was also extensive to apple and peach orchards across these areas.

5. Hurricanes Irene (2011) and "Superstorm" Sandy (2012).

Irene actually hit Massachusetts as a tropical storm, but it was still memorable.

On August 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene made landfall in New England, leading to coastal storm surge, significant riverine flooding, sediment transport to Long Island Sound, and major infrastructure damage and destruction.

The map below shows Irene entering Berkshire County Massachusetts.

attachment-Storm Track_0

Sandy in 2012 was supposed to head out to sea, then sort of hooked hard left into NY and NJ, but its impacts were certainly felt in Massachusetts.

The massive, slow moving, late October storm in Massachusetts caused heavy winds, toppled trees and power lines, and closing roads.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

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