The Great Storm of ’87
The great storm of 1987 was a low-pressure storm that passed over Britain in the early hours of the morning on the 16th of October 1987. It was formed over the Bay of Biscay when a warm front of air from over Africa met a cold front from the north Atlantic. There was great controversy over the build-up of the storm as no warnings were sent out to the British people until the day before. The Great Storm of 1987 was infamous for being the worst storm Britain has ever experienced since the Great Storm of 1703.
The storm hit Cornwall first from the south-west on the night of the 15th causing substantial damage. It was believed to have uprooted 14 million trees during its travels over Britain. This led to trees that fell over roads, over telephone wires, and over electricity cables which led to communication problems. After the storm, the timber industry was also severely affected due to the huge fluctuation in prices because these fallen trees were being made into timber and being sold.
- Date: 15th – 16th October 1987
- Deaths: 21 people from Britain (18) and France (3)
- Effects: Power Loss, 14 million trees uprooted, General Disruption to daily life
- Recovery Time: Reasonably quick
The Drought of ’76
The 1976 drought, also known as the 1976 British Isles heat wave, brought not only high temperatures but also a prolonged period of very little rain. It caught the people of Britain by surprise as there hadn’t been a drought for a few decades. These dry, hot conditions caused major problems. For example, in St. Ives, 250 acres of woodland were burnt; luckily no injuries were caused as 250 people were evacuated to a nearby hospital. The longest reported time without rainfall was 45 days in Milton Abbas, Dorset.
- Date: 22nd of June to 16th July 1976 (temperatures reached 26°C)
- Deaths: n/a
- Effects: Rising food and water prices, water shortage
- Recovery Time: Quick
Hurricane Katrina, a large Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, was among the strongest and deadliest hurricanes to have ever hit the United States. It was formed over the gulf of Mexico before travelling north-east. It then travelled over Florida as a category 3 hurricane reaching very warm waters, it then ‘re-charged’ or gained more energy. It then travelled northwards over Louisiana and Houston. New Orleans was very badly struck, mainly because of the artificial river levies.
- Date: 23rd – 30th of August 2005)
- Deaths: 1,836 people
- Damage: $81.2 billion
- Effects: Major flooding, many homeless, very little food and water supplies
- Recovery Time: Average (not as fast as was expected from the USA)