A North Sea Storm Surge hit Whitby on Friday 13th January 2017. The afternoon high tide of 5.8 metres saw waves up to 22ft recorded off the coast of the town.

High tide fell at 4.30pm, and a full 3 hours before that time the waves were rolling onto the slipway on pier road. Sea foam started to fill the air. Many onlookers came to see the situation, totally unaware of the danger that would soon follow – Video Here..

 

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding - Sea Foam Fills The Air

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding – Sea Foam Fills The Air

At roughly 3pm it got serious and the first of numerous huge waves hit the coast. Coming out of nowhere the huge wave rolled up the slipway and down pier road, taking the Trillo Ice Cream Hut with it as it pushed through – Video here on Facebook.

I watched the wave break through from the safety of The Haggerlythe, and I instantly worried for peoples welfare, I knew there would have been people in the street and in the bandstand area. I had fully expected to see people washed into the harbour. Thankfully people managed to survive it although several were knocked to the floor and one lady taken to hospital with a suspect broken hip – Photographs of the incident by Derek Earl Photography – here and here.

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding - 2017A Huge Wave Washes Away Trillo's Ice Cream Hut. People Are Knocked Over And One Taken To Hospital With A Suspected Broken Hip

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding – 2017A Huge Wave Washes Away Trillo’s Ice Cream Hut. People Are Knocked Over And One Taken To Hospital With A Suspected Broken HipAs time passed, wave after wave could be seen passing down pier road, most observers stayed in a position of safety on top of the cliff near the whalebones and can be seen looking down on the happenings in the photograph below.

 

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding - 2017 - Waves Batter Whitby With Onlookers On The Cliff Top

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding – 2017 Waves Batter Whitby With Onlookers On The Cliff Top

Back in the town centre the Esk breached its banks once again with some flooding on Church Street and New Quay Road. Although not as high as the Storm Surge of December 2013 there was still a significant level of water in the town centre. However the news appears to be good on this front with no significant reports of residential flooding on Church Street.

 

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding - 2017The road flooded outside Weatherspoons In Whitby

Whitby Storm Surge And Flooding – 2017 The road flooded outside Weatherspoons In Whitby

Throughout the whole event, Coastguard from Whitby and Ravenscar were in town along with mountain rescue and other voluntary services who came to help keep people safe. The Police and Fire brigade were also active. The fire brigade spent a large part of the afternoon pumping out seafront properties and the road at Sandsend. Unlike 2013, the town was more prepared and Im sure the people of Whitby are grateful to the emergency services, both Voluntary and paid, for keeping them safe.

Storm Surge Timeline

  • Thursday 12th January 2017 Afternoon – Storm Surge Warning Issued For Whitby By The Environment Agency.
  • Thursday PM – Council Put Out Notices On┬áChurch Street Warning Of Flooding And Asking People To Move Their Cars From Around the Harbour.
  • Thursday PM – Sandbags Provided At Church Street Car Park. Local Businesses Collect Sandbags But Some Business Are Saying Not Enough Sandbags To Go Round.
  • Thursday PM – Business and residential dwellings around the harbour prepare for flooding.
  • Thursday PM – Whitby Piers Closed By Coastguard And Council.
  • Thursday PM – Wilf Noble Sandbags Placed at head of Slipway on Pier Road. Locals question how effective they will be and some predict they will wash away or cause more problems than they will solve.
  • Thursday PM – Barriers Erected At Start Of West Pier. Blown over by Midnight and the wind hasn’t even started to blow yet.
  • Friday 2am – No sign of a surge as yet. Cefas Wave Bouys showing 2.2metre Swell. A long way off the 7 Meter swell which is forecast later in the day. It must start to grow soon. Forecast is looking like the wind and swell will pick up about 6am, which is 2 hours after the morning high tide. We could be safe for the time being.
  • Friday 10am – The Push Begins. 8m Swell shown on the CEFAS Wavebouys to the north of England.
  • Friday 1pm – 3.5 hours to go till high tide and foam fills the air as the waves start to hit the sea wall and slipway at Battery Parade.
  • Friday 3pm – 1.5 Hours till High tide. The first of a succession of huge waves batter the coast. Trillo’s Ice Cream Hut is pushed off its base, onlookers are washed down the street like matchsticks. A lady is taken to Hospital with a suspect broken hip.
  • Friday 3.30pm – The Esk Breaks Its Banks on Church Street and in the area near Trenchers.
  • Friday 3pm -4.30pm – More waves batter the coast. Damage is done to the piers where a stone wall is moved at the start of the west pier, railings are broken near the bandstand.
  • Friday 5pm – High tide passes, the situation begins to ease and the clean up begins.

More Pictures And Discussion Here.

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Image Gallery Of 2017 Storm Surge At Whitby North Yorkshire

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