Storm Event

“Houses were surrounded by the sea”

Severity ? 3


Hickey (1997) reported of a coastal flooding event in Scotland, associated with an ‘extraordinary’ high tide and a high spring tide, the effects of which were exacerbated by heavy rainfall. The force of the waves led to erosion of the sandbanks in Sutherland, notably at Port Cheanraigh retired salt pans were exposed.


There was considerable damage to coastal defences on Oban, where the sea wall was fractured at Alexander Road and Gallanach Road.

Receptor and Consequence

Residential and non-residential properties were flooded, some to a depth of 2 ft on Campeltown High Street and North and South Piers, Oban. The flooding in Thurso was so extreme that witnesses saw furniture ‘floating around the rooms’ of effected properties. A great number of roads were inundated across the affected areas, with some roads left damaged, including Stewart Street. In Badenoch, agricultural land was inundated due to overtopping of rivers – locations included Kingussie, Belleville and Abernethy.

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property Properties flooded in Campeltown, Stuart Town (Ardesier), Avoch, Fortrose, Glenelg, Oban, Auchtercalm Bridge, Thurso, Dunnet and low-lying areas of Inverness
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost *
Ports *
Transport Roads partially flooded in Fort William, Campeltown, Caithness and Inverness. Shingle dumped on Strath Road for 40 yards, and parts of a coastal road washed away in Gairloch
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock *
Agricultural land Meadows and farmland flooded in Badenoch
Coastal erosion Sand banks eroded on Sutherland shore, particularly at Port Cheanraigh
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences Sea wall broken at Alexander Road (Oban)

*No known sources of information available


  1. Hickey, K. R. (1997). Documentary records of coastal storms in Scotland, 1500-1991 A.D. Coventry University. Available at: