Storm Event

An exceptionally high tide lashed by a strong wind and allies with heavy rain led to flooding.

Severity ? 2


No known sources of information.


No known sources of information.

Receptor and Consequence

On 24th October 1961, there was an event described by residents of one local road in Old Portsmouth as the worst in living memory (Ruocco et al., 2011; Haigh et al., 2015). Similarly, residents in Northney, Hayling where residential properties were also inundated to several ft. deep described the flooding as the worst in 20 years. Occupants of flooded houses and bungalows were left marooned (Ruocco, 2009). Extensive flooding was reported at other areas in and around Portsmouth including Drayton, Eastney, and Langstone, with many local roads inundated, alongside residential and non-properties. The fields of an old airport on Eastney Road were submerged when a nearby creek overflowed (Ruocco, 2009).  Defences were also badly damaged in places. Also on 24th October 1961, at North Skye (West Scotland) the piers at Armadale and Raasay, and several low-lying properties were flooded (Dawson et al., 2011). 25th October 1961 was associated with repeated flooding in Old Portsmouth (continuing from one day earlier), but of lesser severity (Ruocco et al., 2011). There was overtopping at Hayling Island and Emsworth, with non-residential properties and quayside property badly affected. In Northney, school children were ferried across floodwater of up to 5 ft. [1.5 m] depth.

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property Properties inundated in areas of Portsmouth and North Skye
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost *
Ports *
Transport Flood water covered fields surrounding the old airport on Eastern Road. Local roads flooded around Portsmouth, including Broad Street, Station Road, Langstone High Street, Quay Street, Portland Street, Northney Road, Southwood Road; cars, vans and lorries marooned in streets. School children ferried across flood water in Northney.
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock *
Agricultural land *
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences Sea defences damaged around Portsmouth. New groynes in Cowes reduced flooding

*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. Haigh, I. D., Wadey, M. P., Gallop, S. L., Loehr, H., Nicholls, R. J., Horsburgh, K., Brown, J. M., and Bradshaw, E., (2015). ‘A user-friendly database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915–2014’. Scientific Data, 2, p.150021. Available at:
  3. Ruocco, A. (2009). Reconstructing Coastal Flood Occurrence in the Solent since 1935 using Historical Database. Southampton MSc Dissertation.
  4. Dawson, A., Warren, J., Gómez, C. and Ritchie, W. (2011). Weather and coastal flooding history: The Uists and Benebecula. Commissioned report for Comhairle nan Eilan Siar, South Ford Hydrodynamics Study, Aberdeen.