Storm Event

Worst flooding in living memory at Kirkcaldy, and impacts in many other east coast towns

Severity ? 3


The storm formed offshore of the US east coast on 27th March 1958 and moved west approaching the UK. On 4th April, the storm was over the French Atlantic coast with a pressure of approximately 1000 mbar. This results in strong easterly winds influencing the east coast of Scotland.

We are unaware of any information regarding the sea level conditions during this event. Within the national tide gauge network, six tide gauges were operational at the time, but these were away from the region of influence. At all six sites the water level return periods were less than 1 year. The event occurred at peak spring tides.

We are unaware of any sources describing the wave conditions during this event.


We are unaware of any specific information regarding the flood pathways during this event.

Receptor and Consequence

This event saw the worst flooding in living memory at Kirkcaldy according to Hickey (1997) and the references therein, with widespread flooding along the Scottish east coast. In Kirkcaldy, residential properties were flooded to a depth 3 ft. [0.9 m] and forty families were forced to evacuate. Vehicles parked on the esplanade were submerged, and some were overturned by the waves. Power cables were damaged by the flood water which badly disrupted the electricity supply. “Serious” flooding was reported for several other east coast towns, including Edinburgh where residential properties were also flooded.

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property Properties flooded in Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh
Evacuation & Rescue Forty families were forced to evacuate
Cost *
Ports *
Transport *
Energy Flood water damaged the power supply in some areas
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock *
Agricultural land *
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences *

*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: