The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm that occurred on the night of Saturday, 31 January 1953 and morning of Sunday, 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.
A flood myth or deluge myth is a narrative in which a great flood, usually sent by a deity or deities, destroys civilization, often in an act of divine retribution. Parallels are often drawn between the flood waters of these myths and the primeval waters found in certain creation myths, as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a culture hero, who "represents the human craving for life".
A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas: washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields. Flash floods may occur after the collapse of a natural ice or debris dam, or a human structure such as a man-made dam, as occurred before the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Flash floods are distinguished from regular floods by having a timescale of less than six hours. The water that is temporarily available is often used by plants with rapid germination and short growth cycles and by specially adapted animal life.
A storm surge, storm flood or storm tide is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems, the severity of which is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, as well as the timing of tides. Most casualties during tropical cyclones occur as the result of storm surges. It is a measure of the rise of water beyond what would be expected by the normal movement related to tides.
The Great Storm of 1703 was a destructive extratropical cyclone that struck central and southern England on 26 November 1703. High winds caused 2,000 chimney stacks to collapse in London and damaged the New Forest, which lost 4,000 oaks. Ships were blown hundreds of miles off-course, and over 1,000 seamen died on the Goodwin Sands alone. News bulletins of casualties and damage were sold all over England – a novelty at that time. The Church of England declared that the storm was God’s vengeance for the sins of the nation. Daniel Defoe thought it was a divine punishment for poor performance against Catholic armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.
In August 2002 a flood caused by over a week of continuous heavy rains ravaged Europe, killing dozens, dispossessing thousands, and causing damage of billions of euros in Russia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. The flood was of a magnitude expected to occur roughly once a century. there were approximately 250 deaths by this natural disaster. Unprecedented flood heights were recorded and over 110 people died. These were the most costly floods affecting Europe in years. As of December 2002, total economic damage estimates exceeded 15 billion Euro. 15% of this cost was insured.
The North Sea flood of 1962 was a natural disaster affecting mainly the coastal regions of Germany and in particular the city of Hamburg in the night from 16 February to 17 February 1962. In total, the homes of about 60,000 people were destroyed, and the death toll amounted to 315 in Hamburg. In addition, three people were killed in the United Kingdom by high winds, which damaged around 175,000 houses in the worst affected city, Sheffield.
Cyclone Xaver also known as the North Sea flood or tidal surge of 2013, was a winter storm that affected northern Europe. Force 12 winds and heavy snowfall were predicted along the storm's path, and there were warnings of a significant risk of storm surge leading to coastal flooding along the coasts of the North and Irish Seas.
Cyclone Xynthia was an extraordinarily violent European windstorm which crossed Western Europe between 27 February and 1 March 2010. It reached a minimum pressure of 967 mb on 27 February. In France—where it was described by the civil defence as the most violent since Lothar and Martin in December 1999—at least 51 people were killed, with 12 more said to be missing. A further six people were killed in Germany, three in Spain, one in Portugal, one in Belgium and another one in England. Most of the deaths in France occurred when a powerful storm surge topped by battering waves up to 7.5 m (25 ft) high, hitting at high tide, smashed through the sea wall off the coastal town of L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer. A mobile home park built close to the sea wall was particularly hard-hit. The sea wall was about two hundred years old, built in the time of Napoleon; critics said that situating a mobile home park so close to the sea wall showed poor coastal development practices. The storm cut power to over a million homes in France and a million customers in Portugal lost power.
The Burchardi flood was a storm tide that struck the North Sea coast of North Frisia and Dithmarschen on the night between 11 and 12 October 1634. Overrunning dikes, it shattered the coastline and caused thousands of deaths and catastrophic material damage. Much of the island of Strand washed away, forming the islands Nordstrand, Pellworm and several Halligen.
The Gale of January 1976, widely known as the "Capella" storm in Germany and the Ruisbroek flood in Belgium, was one in a series of extratropical cyclones and storm surges, which occurred over January 1976. The gale of 2–5 January resulted in severe wind damage across western and central Europe and coastal flooding around the southern North Sea coasts. At the time, this was the most severe storm of the century to date over the British Isles. Total fatalities reached 82 across Europe, although a figure of 100 is given by the World Meteorological Organization. Of these 24 were reported in Britain and 4 in Ireland. Overall losses of US$1,300 million were incurred, with insured losses standing at US$500 million (1976).
The St. Elizabeth's flood of 1421 was a flooding of the Grote Hollandse Waard, an area in what is now the Netherlands. It takes its name from the feast day of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary which was formerly November 19. It ranks 20th in the list of worst floods in history. During the night of November 18 to November 19, 1421, a heavy storm near the North Sea coast caused the dikes to break in a number of places and the lower lying polder land was flooded. A number of villages were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing between 2,000 and 10,000 casualties. The dike breaks and floods caused widespread devastation in Zeeland and Holland.
1978 North Sea storm surge was a storm surge which occurred over 11–12 January causing extensive coastal flooding and considerable damage on the east coast of England between the Humber and Kent. Higher water levels were reached than during the devastating North Sea flood of 1953 from North Shields to King's Lynn, but values were lower towards the Thames. Locally severe flooding occurred in Lincolnshire, The Wash, north Norfolk and Kent. Improvements in flood protection following the devastating flood of 1953 meant that the catastrophic losses seen during that storm were not repeated. The storm caused severe damage to many piers along the east coast of England.
Anatol is the name given by the Free University of Berlin to a powerful winter storm that hit Denmark, Southwest Sweden, and Northern Germany on December 3, 1999. The storm had sustained winds of 146 km/h and wind gusts of up to 184 km/h, equivalent to an intense category 1 hurricane, which is unusually strong for storms in northern Europe. The storm caused 20 fatalities, and over 800 injuries in Denmark.