Storm Event

Severity ? 4


The 7thof October, a small depression was developed southwest of the UK and moved north-eastwards. On the 8thof October, it combined with another small low-pressure system westwards of Ireland and crossed the UK producing heavy rainfall and strong southerly winds, which coincided with exceptionally high tide and the blocked drains were not able to cope with so much water (The Times, 1960; Boza, 2018).


No known sources of information.

Receptor and Consequence

This event was associated with coastal flooding in Exmouth, Torquay and Southampton (Zong and Tooley, 2003). There were flood spots in Mansbridge, Portswood, and Woodmill Lane and gardens were inundated in Shirley and Portswood (Boza, 2018). Houses, gardens, basements, cellars, streets, railway tunnels, hotels, bars, and farm land were flooded between 2 and 5 feet of water. The main shopping centre in Hythe was flooded twice in 24 hours due to the high tide being held in upper grounds and then combining with the next high tide and many businesses were interrupted and had some losses. In Langstone the flood gates did not close, which could have prevented much of the flooding, however, others debate that the quantity of water could not have been handled by any storm gate. In Cowes, the flood lasted for an hour and a half and about 100 houses were damaged with 1 to 2 feet of water. In Southampton, boats navigated and furniture was floating within the streets and traffic was interrupted and diverted. The flood also threatened thousands of imported French cars, some were drifted by the water and 1000 telephone lines were out of service. At the coast of Ryde, 2 to 3 feet of water swept through houses and shops. In Hayling Island, roads and houses were flooded to a depth of 2 feet. Emergency services pumped water out. In Newport, 60,000 pounds of butter were spoilt by contamination of flood water, a mineral water factory was damaged, and tremendous loss of beer stock which were floating in the cellars, damages overall are calculated to be over £250,000. Many sea walls sustained considerable damage due to waves.

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property Houses, gardens, basements, cellars were flooded in Woodmill Lane, Ryde, and Hayling Island. About 100 houses were flooded in Cowes
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost £250,000 worth of damage in Newport
Ports *
Transport Many roads were flooded and traffic diverted
Energy *
Public services The main shopping centre in Hythe was flooded
Water & wastewater *
Livestock *
Agricultural land *
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences Many sea walls sustained considerable damage due to waves

*No known sources of information available


  1. The Times, (1960). ‘Floods Move To Hampshire And Wiltshire’. Times Newspapers Limited, [London, England]. The Times Digital Archive.
  2. Boza, X. (2018). The Reconstruction and Analysis of Historical Coastal Flood Events from 1800’s in the Solent, UK. Southampton MSc Dissertation.
  3. Zong, Y. and Tooley, M. J. A. (2003). ‘Historical Record of Coastal Floods in Britain: Frequencies and Associated Storm Tracks’. Natural Hazards,29, 13–36. Available at: (Accessed: 5 March 2015).