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Gale and coastal storm surge of 31st January - 1st February 1953

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  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    Today is the 68th anniversary of one of the most noteworthy and devastating weather events of modern history when a severe gale, coastal storm surge and catastrophic flooding resulted in a UK death toll of 307, including 132 who drowned when the ferry Princess Victoria went down in the North Channel on the afternoon of the 31st. The North Sea storm surge amounted to 2.0 - 2.5m between the Humber and Thames estuaries and some 6,500 sq km of land was inundated. Much wind-based structural damage took place in the north and east, including Aberdeen, and on Orkney, a mean wind speed of 90 mph was maintained over five hours, with a maximum gust of 125 mph.

    RIP all those who lost their lives, including the many who died in the Low Countries as a result of the storm surge and flooding.

    (With acknowledgements to Philip Eden)

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