Insurance & You

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Top 10 extreme UK weather events

The UK has a surprising history of extreme weather, which has caused untold damage over past centuries. Here are of some of the most famous freak weather events in previous years. Let’s hope the homeowners had the right house insurance to cover the damage!

Person holding umbrella in the snow1. In the summer of 1976, Britain was hit by a fierce heat wave that left large swathes of the country in drought. Many people in Wales and the West of England were left without any water on the hottest days. Water was rationed and having a dirty car became patriotic!

2. In October 1987 the Great Storm hit Britain. It was the worst since 1703, and winds of hurricane force battered the country, killing 18 people and bringing down around 15 million trees, causing chaos and widespread structural damage to buildings.

3. In the Boscastle flood of 2004 villages were hit by flash floods caused by days of torrential rain. Exactly 52 years earlier, Lynmouth in Devon suffered a catastrophic flood in 1952, which claimed the lives of 52 people.

4. The Great Freeze of 1963 started around Christmas time and lasted until March. Sections of the Thames froze solid and temperatures dropped to a record low. Burst mains, heating failures and accidents affected thousands across the UK.

5. The spring snowstorm of 1908 left parts of the Midlands 23cm deep in snow, causing significant damage to agricultural crops. It was a raging blizzard and Oxford recorded the heaviest snowfall since 1888.

6. On Epsom Derby Day 1911 a massive 62mm of rain fell in just 50 minutes and 159 strokes of lightening were recorded in 15 minutes. The course turned to a sea of mud and the glorious day’s racing was ruined along with many elegant outfits.

7. In July 1968 a shower of red rain fell over the Midlands and Southern England. Sand was blown over 1,000 miles from the Sahara desert before falling with the rain in the UK, creating rivers of red!

8. In 2005 a Tornado hit Birmingham, injuring 19 people, destroying a supermarket and damaging hundreds of homes.

9. The Devon Hailstorm of 2005 trapped many vehicles in flood water and 25 people had to be rescued from their homes. It was reported by some to be the worst flooding in 25 years.

10. In 1954 Sutton Coldfield was hit by a shower of hundreds of frogs that had been sucked into thunderclouds by a small tornado before falling in the UK.

Adverse weather and your insurance

Even if you aren’t expecting to be flooded or rained on by frogs, it’s always worth checking your house insurance policy summary and house insurance policy booklet.

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