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16-10-1987

The Great Storm of 1987

Something Fishy

If you’re Michael Fish, a member of the Fish family, or a tree, you may want to leave the room now. Because October 16th marks the anniversary of The Great Storm of 1987; a storm so great that it wasn’t given any sort of name other than The Great Storm of 1987. It was Michael Fish, of course, who famously told us that there wasn’t a hurricane approaching the UK. And he was right. Though localised gusts hit hurricane levels, the winds were never sufficiently widespread to be considered an actual hurricane. But though it wasn’t given an exciting name like ‘Hurricane Bertha’ or ‘Hurricane Pam’, it was still the worst storm to hit England since 1703. The strongest gust was recorded at Shoreham-by-Sea where the wind reached a mighty 120 mph. Around 15 million trees were blown over and roughly £1 billion worth of damage was done. A Sealink ferry was blown aground, Shanklin pier was smashed to smithereens and six of the seven oaks in Sevenoaks were lost. And Michael Fish was guaranteed to appear on TV bloopers shows for many years to come.