New Bedford Hurricane Barrier Turns 50

The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier lies across New Bedford and Fairhaven Harbor and protects about 1,400 acres in New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet from tidal flooding associated with hurricanes and coastal storms. Photo by Andrew Stamer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

SouthCoast Today: Fifty years after construction of the city’s hurricane barrier first started, it’s still drawing attention.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the barrier, which the city celebrated Thursday [November 29] with a proclamation for the Army Corps of Engineers, prompted interest from national media looking for longterm solutions to the massive storms predicted as a result of climate change.

Army Corps Cpl. Charles Samaris, the commander of the New England Region, credited the structure—899 tons of granite—with preventing more than $28 million in flood damage in the area, including $3.5 million during Hurricane Sandy.

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