"The Mighty Merrimack"
As chief engineer for Lowell, MA, James Bicheno Francis compiled a history of floods discovering that the mighty Merrimack River crested above Pawtucket Falls at 13 feet 6 inches and caused a major flood in 1785. With this research, Francis supervised the construction of a five-mile system of canals along the river in 1848. As noted in a previous column, The Merrimack River provided an uninterrupted source of power to textile mills and changes in the river level were controlled by a system of gates and locks. With the city 30 feet lower than the falls, Francis realized that if crest levels repeated; surging water would funnel through the canals, destroying the heart of the city. He proposed building a massive gate to prevent this tragedy.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Sheriff\'s Deputy and daughter slain
Deputy puts up \'grisly\' fight before being killed with daughter by neighbor
Sheriff's office investigating local case of creepy clowns
Thousands of dollars worth of electronics go missing from flooded school
Sheriff's deputy, daughter killed by upset neighbor