years ago today: Major 1981 storm hits Burnham-On-Sea
is exactly 30 years today (Tuesday) since Burnham-On-Sea suffered
severe flooding and millions of pounds of damage following a major
events of December 13th, 1981 are still very clear in the memories
of many residents - and Burnham-On-Sea.com today takes a special
look back at some of the photos
and stories from
damage was caused to the seafront, as pictured, while homes and
streets in several parts of the town were flooded following an
inundation of sea water caused by a huge high tide, a storm surge
and flood water from melting snow flowing down the Bristol Channel.
fortunately no-one was killed, the conditions caused damage valued
at £6million along Somerset's coastline.
prompted the Environment Agency to build Burnham's new sea defences
in the hope of preventing further damage.
Gosling was one of the Burnham Coastguards on duty that evening.
He recounts how the storm unfolded: "It was a rainy, bitterly
cold night. We were called out at 6pm when the forecasters confirmed
the severe weather would be coming to Burnham."
were nervous about what was going to happen. We spent much of
the evening moving sand bags into position and helping residents
move out of basement flats along the seafront."
in the early hours when the storm hit, the waves just rolled right
over the sea wall and into the town. I'd never seen anything like
it. The gratings along The Esplanade were thrown upwards by the
force of the water under the sea wall - and parts of the wall
itself were badly damaged."
town councillor Neville Jones also remembers the night well: "The
sea flooded almost a quarter of a mile inland in Burnham, quickly
running down the streets in the town. It was an extraordinary
sight to see sea water in Berrow Road and Rectory Road."
sea wall was punctured in several places and a lot of work was
done to shore it up with sand bags. It certainly was a night to
damage spurred on the Environment Agency to build Burnham's new
£7.5m sea defences, which were finally opened in 1988.
Click here for photos of Burnham's
memories of Burnham's 1981 storm