Storm Event

Exceptionally high tides turned the main shopping area around lower York Avenue into a lake

Severity ? 2


No known sources of information.


No known sources of information.

Receptor and Consequence

On 20th December 1968, it was reported that some roads, non-residential property, and areas of marshland in Hythe were flooded during this event, reaching depths of up to 9 inches [0.2 m] in places causing traffic to be diverted (Ruocco et al., 2011). Other affected areas included Lymington and Ryde, with rough seas at the latter location forcing closure of the train service on the pier as waves threatened to short circuit the live rail. In Lymington, the gardens of residential properties were flooded (Ruocco, 2009). 21st December 1968 was also associated with flooding in several locations around the Solent as high tide blocked the drains (Ruocco et al., 2011). Impacts were reportedly most serious in Cowes, Isle of Wight where parts of the town centre were inundated to a depth of 3 ft. [0.9 m]. Pedestrians were ferried around local roads on boat, and several non-residential properties were affected. The River Yar broke its banks at high tide, inundating agricultural land. Major flooding in Bognor reported, up to 3 ft in Gloucester Road (Ruocco, 2009).

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property Gardens of Waterloo Road flooded
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost *
Ports *
Transport Traffic diverted where the water made roads impassable. Train service cancelled on Ryde pier. Pedestrians in Cowes were ferried around local on roads due to the extent of the flooding
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock *
Agricultural land Land flooded at St Helens
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences *

*No known sources of information available


  1. Ruocco, A. Nicholls, R. J., Haigh, I. D., and Wadey, M. (2011). ‘Reconstructing Coastal Flood Occurrence Combining Sea Level and Media Sources: A case study of the Solent UK since 1935’. Natural Hazards, 59(3): 1773-1796. Available at: (Accessed: 27 March 2015).
  2. Ruocco, A. (2009). Reconstructing Coastal Flood Occurrence in the Solent since 1935 using Historical Database. Southampton MSc Dissertation.