Coastal flood of February 7, 1978, in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire

Water-Resources Investigations Report 79-61



On February 6-8, 1978, New England was battered by one of the most severe winter storms of record. The storm produced record snowfall in many areas of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Spring high tides (sun and moon in such alinement as to cause the highest tides of the month), a stationary storm center, and hurricane force winds combined to produce record high flood levels along much of the Massachusetts to Maine coastline on February 7. Tidal gages recorded new highs of 10.4 feet in Boston, Massachusetts, and 9.6 feet in Portland, Maine. Fifty-four lives were lost because of the storm. Property damage was greatest along the Massachusetts coastline north of Cape Cod. The total cost of the storm--principally property damage, snow removal, and economic losses--approached $1 billion.

This report contains data which document the flooding along parts of the New England coast. Elevations of 203 floodmarks in Massachusetts, 104 in Maine, and 46 in New Hampshire are given. Also included are some historical coastal flood data and a list of other storm-related studies. 

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Coastal flood of February 7, 1978, in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 79-61
DOI 10.3133/wri7961
Year Published 1979
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Description iii, 57 p.; 2 Plates: 33.95 x 11.92 and 11.75 x 21.78 inches
Country United States
State Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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