Mothers Day Flood, May 14-16, 2006

Fourteen inches of rain fell between May 14 and May 16, 2006, creating the historic 2006 Mothers Day Flood. Water flow levels in the Ipswich River were 27% higher than recorded in previous epic floods. Photos are from the Ipswich River Watershed Association site, myself and readers.

Kerry Mackin was at that time director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association and took some of the photos. She writes,

“It still is the flood of record for the Ipswich River. The prior record flood was about 3500 cfs at its peak in Ipswich, and this one was about 4500 cfs (cubic feet per second). In fact, the five highest floods ever recorded on the Ipswich have all occurred since April 1987. The damage from this storm was massive, especially in Ipswich and Topsfield (where several people died when their cars were swept away by floodwaters).

Bridges here were seriously damaged; for a while after the peak of the flood, 4 out of the 5 Ipswich River bridges in town were closed, and several were not reopened for months, and in one case, years. Unfortunately, projections are for more frequent intense storms in our region, due to climate change. For example, while the flood of 2010 wasn’t quite as high as the 2006 storm, it was higher than all the other prior recorded floods. Ipswich has serious work to do to try to be prepared for the impacts of climate change”

Immie’s Bridal Shop on South Main Street burned down, its wiring damaged by water.


Emergency Management Director Charles H. Cooper Flooding of May 2006 After Action Report

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