Woonsocket Flood Risk Management Program

The Woonsocket FRMP is a Federal flood damage reduction project located in the city of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The Project consists of the Woonsocket Falls Dam, a concrete overflow dam as well as channel improvements, stone slope protection, earth dikes, concrete floodwalls, pressure conduit and pump stations.

The Project extends downstream along the Blackstone River from the Massachusetts state line to the center of Woonsocket near the South Main Street Bridge and from the Bemon Street Bridge downstream to the vicinity of the sewage treatment plant.

The project also extends upstream along the Mill River from its confluence with the Blackstone River to Privilege Street and along the Peters River to Mill Street. A small portion of the project along the west bank of the Blackstone River lies in North Smithfield. The Project protects sections of the city of Woonsocket from flooding events due to large storms.

 In 2009, USACE assumed ownership of the Project and all associated components at the direction of the U.S. Congress in the Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Section 2875. The project was originally authorized as the Upper Woonsocket Local Flood Protection by the Flood Control Act of 22 December 1944 (Public Law 534, 78th Congress, 2nd Session).

USACE operates the FRMP in accordance with its authorized purposes. The Woonsocket Dam was not designed for flood damage reduction but acts as a Mill/Penstock Dam for the Thundermist hydroelectric facility owned and operated for the city of Woonsocket. When conditions warrant, USACE will operate the gates to reduce local isolated flooding upstream.

Impacts associated with the operation and maintenance activities of this flood risk management project are not significant, and its presence ensures USACE has the ability to reduce flood risk to residential and commercial properties, and infrastructure within the city of Woonsocket during storms.