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Monday, October 15, 2007

The Great Storm

As I have observed before we British do like to witter on about the weather, surprisingly that because we get so little of the stuff. You are talking about a nation that gets a snow fall that Canadians wouldn't think of as snow and the country grinds to a halt.

The night of the 15/16th October 1987 was different. It was the night of the HURRICANE . It was the night that weatherman Michael Fish dismissed a viewers concerns

"Earlier on today apparently," he began, "a woman rang the BBC and said she had heard that there was a hurricane on the way.

"Well if you are watching, don't worry there isn't."

Well apparently he didn't.

What happened was pretty awesome by British standards with winds of 122mph. The head gardener of NT Sheffield Park garden in Sussex penned just one entry for Oct 16th 1987 'DEVASTATION'. In total 18 people were killed and 15 million trees were uprooted.

Apparently the 1987 storm was the worst since 1703 BUT the 1990 storm was even worse. Now I can remember the 1987 one but have forgotten about 1990. The 1987 storm
happened when the trees were fall of leaves so the damage was much more severe.

Whereas the initial thoughts were of the devastation it has proven that the storms long term impacts weren't as bad as first thought (well if you were one of the 18....). Yes many old trees were sadly lost but at NT Emmetts Garden (somewhere else I want to visit) in Kent they have found that they get a greater range of wildlife than they did pre-storm. They get Dormice now for instance.

Some pictures here and here to show it was actually quite bad.


oldcrow61 said...


Jan said...

OMG was that really 20 years ago tonight? Where has the time gone. I remember it so well, sitting up with my friend drinking coffee, cuddling our dogs and trying not to crap ourselves with fear as the glass in the windows kept making cracking noises, and expecting it to cave in at any time. Of course we had no idea at the time how bad it was all over.

I also remember the one of 1990 - I was in an airplane coming back from Spain, trying to land in that lot at Luton. After we circled for about half an hour, and made an aborted attempt at landing, we were diverted to East Midlands, where it was nearly as bad! Scary scary stuff.

Mary said...

Yes I remember both well. The New Forest suffered both times. it doesn't seem like 20 years ago.

Mo said...

It's funny but Scotland was hit by an even worse storm in 1968 - it brought down two of our chimney stacks and ripped our garage to shreds. I remember it and I was only 5. But it never gets a mention because it was only Scotland that was hit and not the south east.

Acres and acres of forestry was devastated with hillside ripped apart.