How would Southern New England hurricane barriers hold up against Hurricane Ian?

This is an image of the New Bedford hurricane barrier. (New Bedford Guide)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island has seen its fair share of historic hurricanes.

After the deadly hurricanes of 1938, 1944, and Carol of 1954, the Army Corp of Engineers built the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier and the New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier for protection from catastrophic storm surge.

The storm surge from Hurricane Ian is estimated at 12 to 18 feet. So, how would our structures hold up against surge like that?

This is an image of the New BEdford barrier map. (WLNE)

Drew Cattano, the barrier engineer for both Fox Point and New Bedford, said the barriers would be effective against such a surge like the one from Hurricane Ian.

“It is designed to up to 20 feet and 1938 and 54 got to about 13 feet so we are well above the biggest storm on record. Protects up to about 20 feet,” said Cattano.

The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier protects 1400 acres, including downtown New Bedford. The Fox Point Hurricane Barrier protects 280 acres, including downtown Providence.

These barriers have saved local economies tens of millions of dollars in potential flood damage, not to mention lives saved.

Categories: New Bedford, News, Providence