Whoo Hoo, I’m Back


Storm Surge

Gale force winds from the sea, an extra high spring tide and a storm surge all  served to breach the sea defences in my little part of North Wales.  Some homes were flooded, fortunately ours wasn’t, the only effect on us  was no telephone or broadband services for a few days

We knew we were in for difficult conditions, the weather services had been predicting for days of the coming storm. Natural Resources Wales had issued flood warnings to approximately 4000 homes in low-lying areas.  Now stormy weather here is nothing like the hurricanes or typhoons experienced in other parts of the world. Our storms are not as violent and generally our sea defences are pretty good at coping.   But for some reason, the heavy seas breached the defences and so more than 400 residents were forced to take refuge in Rhyl Leisure Centre after their homes were left ruined.  It was the highest storm surge we have had in twenty years.  I feel sorry for those whose houses were flooded, especially as we are approaching Christmas. Within minutes of the defences breaching,  the sea was pouring into their houses, ruining everything. Some news reports showed people standing in water up to their waist.

The photograph above was taken an hour before full high tide. You can see the sea is up to the level of the wall and has already topped it. The area in the foreground is a car park. Just out of picture secondary defences were hastily being erected to stem the flow of water.

I’ll come back later this week with some more photographs showing the storm and the efforts to protect against flooding.

 

12 thoughts on “Whoo Hoo, I’m Back

  1. Richard December 8, 2013 / 10:25

    Excellent post Mike. I was at Rhyl taking photo’s and managed to get mine on the BBC Wales as the weather picture. We seem to be dogged by freak storms i our area.

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    • Mike Hardisty December 8, 2013 / 10:48

      Hi Richard

      I took a lot of photographs at Barkby, including some of the council trying to add extra defences, when it was obvious it was going to breach. Agreed with a guy from the council, that he could ring me and I would send him some photographs. By the time I got home my phone and broadband had gone down for SKY users, all along the coast, and it’s only just come back up sometime early this morning.

      Strange that only SKY were affected, BT, Talk Talk were all fine, yet they all use the same equipment. I could get dial tone but as soon as I tried to use the phone I would get test tones coming from the exchange. Something fishy…the excuse I’ve heard is that a fibre optic cable was flooded. Oh! Yeah.

      Mike http://about.me/mikehardisty

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  2. Richard December 8, 2013 / 14:22

    Broadband was ok…ish! The Daily Post asked if I would give permission to print one of my images of Rhyl. The e-mail came in 17 hours later when it was too late!

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  3. Lynne Ayers December 8, 2013 / 15:48

    Glad you were spared. Thoughts to those that were not. Did you get wet from this one?

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    • Mike Hardisty December 8, 2013 / 16:14

      Hello Lynne, I did get wet, but only because I was out taking photographs and the spray from the waves was in the air. I didn’t go to close, it was just too dangerous, but I do have lenses for my camera that allow me to stand back and take the photo from comparative safety. http://about.me/mikehardisty

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  4. Tina Schell December 8, 2013 / 16:47

    Wow Mike, happy to hear your home was not among those impacted but what a nasty time it must have been! Leave it to you to be out there capturing it ! Well done.

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    • Mike Hardisty December 8, 2013 / 16:55

      Hello Tina, when we first moved to this area we did consider a house nearer the sea and slightly more low-lying, but in the end we settled for one slightly higher up the hill. Good choice now I think.

      The weather was wild and the sea is a powerful force which I have a healthy respect for. Originally I had planned to go to Talacre and photograph the old lighthouse, but the more I thought about it. the more dangerous that seemed. I would have to stand on the sand dunes to get photographs and it only takes one big wave to wash away the ground you are standing on. As it was, unknown to me, they were preparing to evacuate the area and I would have not have been allowed anywhere near the area, anyway. http://about.me/mikehardisty

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  5. petspeopleandlife December 8, 2013 / 18:05

    I know that you are thankful that you chose a home on higher ground. It’s always better to be stranded high rather than low. It’s too bad all those people lost their homes to flooding. Living on the coast line or near a river does not have an advantage when too much rain is involved. It’s nice to see that you are now able to post again. That huge wave in the photo looks forbidding.

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  6. Patti Kuche December 8, 2013 / 20:53

    Gosh Mike, the UK has had a battering lately . . . . great shot, sorry to hear about the damage in your area and hope all back to normal (?) soon. You take care!

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    • Mike Hardisty December 9, 2013 / 15:23

      Hi Patti, sure was a bit of a storm but nice and settled now. Beautiful sunrise this morning, yes, I was up. This week is settled weather with milder temperatures, sea was flat calm this morning. http://about.me/mikehardisty

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