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A Storm brews in St Ives

Fishermen batten down the hatches in St Ives.

News 1962 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive

Overview

Local fishermen tie up and take extra precautions in St Ives in Cornwall as some of the worst storms in years batter Britain culminating in a night of severe gales on 7 March 1962. Here hasty preparations see all hands on deck as crew and locals do everything to protect vessels and livelihoods, tying up firmly and adding tyre fenders. The storm is thought to have developed off the east coast of Canada on 24 February and for a time stayed in the mid-Atlantic.

Today many ports and marinas have hurricane or storm plans but 1962 was a year of some of the worst weather and the country was caught counting the cost of extreme tide levels, damage to sea walls, homes and infrastructure, all requiring emergency intervention. St Ives, Penzance and Newlyn endured extensive damage to coastal defences with the army helping in the clean-up operation. Storm surges over several days happen when they coincide with high tides and hit low-lying coastlines resulting in severe flooding and flood damage. Nowadays storm surges are measured by skew surges which are the difference between the maximum observed sea level and the maximum predicted tide.