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A stormy start to 2017

Severe storms experienced throughout Europe during winter 2016/17.



Europe has been lashed by a series of storms leading to flooding for the past few months. From December 2016, there has been little respite for some of Europe's most vulnerable regions. Most recently, The UK's Environment Agency reported that half a million homes were protected from resulting flooding in January 2017 as a storm surge swept the Eastern UK coast.

While waves of 7m were recorded and flooding occurred all along the coast, the consequences were not as severe as expected owing to the timing of the surge at different locations along the coast. Preparedness measures also reduced the impact of the storm; these included the advanced installation of flood defenses, activation of permanent defenses and also owing to the preemptive evacuations that were made.

Earlier in January, parts and Denmark,Poland and Germany also suffered storm surge induced coastal flooding. Flooding affected north western Poland, northeastern Germany and various parts of the Danish coast. Reported damages were experienced by businesses and residential properties along the German shoreline. In Poland, flooding coincided with a snow storm, with flooding experienced in some retail areas. Denmark saw sea levels up to 1.73 m above normal in some areas, causing traffic disruption and damage to some private property.

Southern regions of Europe did not escape coastal winter flooding in 2016/17. The Turkish city of Mersin saw two fatalities in December when the city was struck with severe flooding . The flooding, in this case, resulted from heavy rainfall rather than from a storm surge and let to road closures and traffic disruption.

The RISC-KIT Case Study site, Tordera Delta, was also hit by a coastal storm this winter. over the 22 and 23 January 2017. Significant erosion and damage to waterfront infrastructure resulted from the storm event, as the photographs below testify. 


Damage suffered at Tordera Delta during the winter storms, January 2017.


For more information on the UK storm surge; flooding in Germany, Poland and Denmark and Turkey, and to see some footage from the period, visit