Following the latest spate of weather disruption we found some incredible photos in our Archive from the Ash Wednesday storm, which caused considerable damage to Penzance & Newlyn in March 1962.
The Ash Wednesday Storm, much like the recent storms we experienced, was due to a weather front sweeping in from the Atlantic. The Great Storm of 1962 hit the Eastern Coast of the United States between 6 - 8th March bringing hurricane force winds, coupled with exceptionally high tides as a result of the Spring Equinox. The storm was thought to be one of the most destructive ever to affect the mid-Atlantic states. One of the ten worst storms in the United States in the 20th century, it lingered through five high tides over a three-day period, killing 40 people, injuring over 1,000, and causing hundreds of millions in property damage in six states.
On 13th March 1962 the storm hit the western tip of the UK wreaking havoc on the coastline of Cornwall – Penzance and Newlyn bearing the brunt of the damage. The promenade was breached, the Jubilee Pool smashed and the Tolcarne area of Newlyn pummelled by the full force of the storm.
In comparison here are some images of the damage caused in the same areas of Penzance and Newlyn by the recent ‘Valentine’ storm of February 2014:
Considerable damage has been caused to the prom, the lower sea wall and the Newlyn Green end of the coastal path, as well as major disruption at the Jubilee Pool. Many homes and businesses in Newlyn and along the promenade have been flooded but thankfully no-one was hurt. The Council have been very quick to act and the clean up operation is in full force.
So are we seeing the effects of global warming or is this another weather cycle brought about by a powerful combination of factors? Either way it is a reminder of the awesome power of the sea and the elements when they come together in force.