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Breaking News : On December 5th 2013 Whitby was hit by flooding caused by a very major storm surge. National news has reported this to be the biggest surge of its type in The North Sea since 1953.
Work is ongoing in the town centre to reopen local businesses and tidy up peoples homes. The lower end of cobbled Church Street is still without power today (Saturday 7th December)
Thankfully no-one has lost their life or even been seriously injured, and despite all the mess in town this has to be seen as a very positive thing, it could certainly have been far worse.
The most recent news is that families and friends have spent most of the day cleaning out flood damaged properties around the harbour.
Local business have also started to clean up and many are almost ready for business. Colin from The Station Inn Says “Cheers to everyone who has offered help and got in touch! Tomorrow we will rise like a mighty Phoenix and will be open like nothing ever happened”
The local congregational church on Skinner Street has set up a furniture warehouse and Father Mark Ladds has also set up a Facebook page to help distribute furniture and other useful items to those effected by the flooding.
Please take a few moments to visit the Whitby Flood Help Facebook here. At present the group is unable to accept cash donations but Mark and local shop Agars are working on changing this tomorrow (Saturday 7th Dec).
Speaking of the social media group, Mark Says “This page is for anyone who wishes to help out by giving furniture , beds, ect to those who sadly lost theres in the flood. Post what you have, then those who need them can contact you to arrange pic ups etc… Big thanks to all. ”
What Caused The Floods In Whitby ??
A storm surge is caused by a low pressure system crossing the top of the North Sea above Scotland. It has little to do with waves, winds or tides on a local basis, infact the last tidal surge at Whitby in 2011 occurred on a very calm night with a neap tide in Whitby.
The low pressure system with high winds and large waves above Scotland pushes the water away, and in this case the excess water gets funneled down the north sea and causes flooding to low lieing areas.
Although Rare, storm surges are not unknown in Whitby and I can personally think of at least 4 in the last 10 years. The last storm surge to hit Whitby was in 2011 and is documented here on Real Whitby.
The Storm surge of December 2013 was more severe because of how deep the low pressure was which passed over Scotland on Thursday 5th Dec.
Coupled with Spring tides of 5.8 Meters, the water levels were already high, meaning the extra surge had nowhere to go, other than onto the streets and areas surrounding the lower harbour.
Do You Have Any Stories About The Storm Surge ?
Were you or your family effected ? Would you like to tell your story ? Perhaps thank friends and family who helped out ? Then please send us your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Reading On Flooding At Whitby