Whitney Web Page -
Southbridge History
Floods of 1938 and 1955


August 19, 1955 - Southbridge Mass.

Looking back 60 years later
1 hour video of August 10, 2015 Talk at Jacob Edwards Library


Experience the Flood of 1955 via my Youtube Video


Southbridge News Article - Aug 19, 2009 (54 years later)

Below- German Newspaper coverage of the 1955 Flood in Southbridge, shortly after the devasation occurred.
Thanks to Todd Robida for supplying this to me.

Translation of German Text: "Flood disaster in North America
One of the most terrible flood water disasters devastated large areas of the northeastern coastal areas of the Unites States. More than one hundred thousand people lost their homes, twenty thousand lost their jobs. The damage is estimated to be at twelve billion Marks. The picture shows a washed away house in Southbridge, Massachusetts."

Check out this amazing Audio clip from that day! Part of the audio used in the Flood Youtube video (above link)

AO Retiree and close family friend Bob Haynes, taped the WESO Radio Broadcast of the 1955 Flood. Download Zip file here of WESO Radio Broadcast. This audio file is in wav format and has been zipped to 1/2 of the 1MB file size. It contains a dramatic segment where evacuation routes are being given and the siren in the center of Southbridge can be heard in the background.  (Update - watch Youtube video with this audio here:
  Looking back at the Flood - 50 years later (2005)

A rare view of the 1955 Flood in progress. This photo was taken from the North end of the AO Main Plant (now Southbridge Hotel and Confernence Center). Note the AO North St.Guard shack on the lower right. The Hampden Ale (Petes Cafe) Sign on the building behind the black car is on the building that is now Panda Garden. For a view from Mechanic Street after the flood subsided, click here. Note the Hampden Ale sign in that photo as well.

Photo courtesy of Jim Houghton
Click here for "Then and Now" views

More Houghton Flood photos

Corner of Mechanic and Charlton Streets - Bob McMaster photo

Don Whitney's 1955 Flood Slide Collection

Bill Kroll's amazing '55 Flood Globe Village photos

Don Croke recalls his floating TV

Russell St. Laurent recalls the 1955 Flood on Mechanic St.

Sample of donated Photos to Jacob Edwards Library by Robert Herbert

Should you be interested in reading (or contributing to) Flood Recollections, Click Here!

1955 Flood Photos 
(Above Left AO Main Plant along Mechanic Street, Above Right Main Plant on Right as viewed from Lens Street)
Alphonse Mominee and Family Collection

The National Guard on watch in front of the AO Main Plant after the Flood of 1955. Does anyone recognize the boy on crutches???
Please e-mail me with details

Statistics about the 1955 Flood as printed in the Southbridge Evening News
as it appeared in Aug 31, 1955

Aug 1999 photo of me standing by the Flood level marks on the old AO Main plant (now the Southbridge Hotel).
The top marks show the water level for the August 19, 1955 Flood.
The second level is that of the 1938 Flood (Sept 21st).
The remaining are for the March 19, 1936 and March 12 1936 Flood levels (bottom)

Dick Whitney with Mish Michaels (WBZ TV Meteorologist) on Nov 5, 2005 at the Clay Center in Brookline
This was shortly before her presentation on the 50th Anniversary of Hurricanes Connie and Diane, where she included details of the devastation in Southbridge on Aug 19, 1955

Mish's new website (July 30, 2009)


On this site are photos of the 1955 and 1938 Floods. Be sure to read below these Floods.

More Information on the Flood of 1955

Flood Control History After the 1955 Flood

The Flood of 1938

Learn about AO and the Floods

Fires of Southbridge

Dick Whitney  July 30, 2009

AO History Page

Southbridge History Page

Whitney Home Page