Thursday, 6 February 2014

Stormageddon in Seaton

So, I dealt with the birds in last night's post, but how about yesterday's weather...

I'm told the sea hasn't come over the sea wall in Seaton since it was installed over thirty years ago, with the last big sea-based flood occurring in 1974 (pre-wall). I'm also told this was very different than yesterday's storm, with no rain and little wind, it was just several huge freakish waves. But yesterday it was all down to the weather and tide, with the direction of the wind being key. During Tuesday night and Wednesday morning it was blowing in from the south east; our predominant wind direction here is south westerly, which is where most of our storms come from. This small difference clearly makes a lot of difference!

At high tide yesterday the Esplanade (road along the sea front) was closed off. It was more like a lake, with the large waves throwing over debris, shingle, and even destroying a wall!

Looking towards to sea from Boots

The same roundabout, but looking east towards it

Looking east from the far western end of the Esplanade

Looking west from the far eastern end of the Esplanade, just after the worst had hit

Angry looking seas!

The flood water soon followed the slope down from Esplanade, and ended up flooding Harbour Road too, which was also soon closed off...

Flowing down Trevelyan Road towards Harbour Road

Harbour Road closed off

Later in the day the Esplanade was re-opened (although it was closed again by 5pm), and this is how it looked...

Good luck with that one EDDC!

And the beach looked like this...

Yes that is a bench, which is on top of the promenade which is usually a good few feet (at least) above the beach!

Rewinding back the day again, and the Harbour took a beating too. The sea re-shaped the entrance, which meant the waves came crashing in with full force...

Looking south from the main Axmouth bridge

This wasn't good news for the Yacht Club, or the shops and houses alongside the Harbour...

By the time I took this photo it had receded quite some way

This is nothing like it usually looks!

And then there's the Estuary. We often see the upper valley flooded...

Looking north west from the Farm Gate just north of Axmouth

Looking south from the A3052. This is usually just a field and you wouldn't be able to see any water in this photo!

But the lower Estuary was incredibly high. An hour before high tide, Coronation Corner looked like this...

Wouldn't want to picnicking on those!

And lower down the Estuary just after high tide...

This is how close it came to coming over onto the road

Just south of Axmouth road bridge

With another huge storm predicted on Saturday, let's hope we don't see a repeat...


  1. That 1974 flood; no wind or rain, just several huge waves? Sounds like a tsunami to me.
    Probably a slump on the shelf edge in the Western Approaches, like a couple of years ago [only quite a bit bigger]. I wonder if there's any other records of flooding from then?

    Glad to see your sea wall is holding, unlike poor Dawlish. I guess all that shingle really helps make the difference.

  2. Yeah, they described it as almost being tsunami like!! Except there were several, not just one big one.

    The shingle was flung all over the place, and in some cases caused the damage. But yes, it must help as well.

  3. Tsunami are almost invariably a series of waves. It's one of the reasons why they're so destructive; each successive wave has more and more debris to throw. The first one isn't usually the biggest, either..

  4. The sea wall was built as a result of the sea coming over, as the result of a swelll and spring. This event happened on 13/02/1979.