I’m sure Storm Eunice isn’t news to anyone by now, but it might be interesting to share some boat-related stories local to Portsmouth. Eunice, the most severe storm was actually sandwiched between two other storms, Dudley and Frankin, so we had three successive storms battering the UK in mid February. Eunice hit us on Friday 18th and despite plenty of warnings and preparation, there was still plenty of damage.
The storm itself is well documented in this article. As you can see from this map, the Red warnings go right across the south of England which is unusual – most of the severe storms in the past have have more impact on the north of the country.
The storm created and coincided with a tidal surge and the strong winds and this high tide proved too much for the floating crane in Pounds Marine ship breaker’s yard. It broke loose and floated itself over to the M275 where it came to rest, uncomfortably close the the motorway. There it stayed until there was another very high tide a couple of weeks later, allowing it to be recovered.
The weather station at the Needles Battery recorded a record gust strength of 122mph at the peak of the storm. Winds of this strength proved too much for some of the the Camber Dock dry stack occupants.
Our neighbours in the ECA have the disadvantage that their boat storage yard is very exposed to southern winds, and one of the yachts took a tumble taking several others down with it (feature photo above). The high tide pushed boats in Southsea Marina above the normal protection of the basin but fortunately, and a lot to do with the diligence of the Premier Marina crew, very little damage was recorded. The new SMAC weighing shed didn’t move an inch either, and I’m sure the members that built it (and there seemed to be a lot of people involved) will be reminding us of this fact for years to come.
According to the notice below, there was another casualty of the storms although I’m not sure exactly when this vessel actually sank. Langstone Harbour took a battering for several days, and even the Hayling Island bridge was closed to traffic for a while as water washed over it. Sadly, an 11 metre catamaran sank at its mooring near the Mulberry wreck. From memory it didn’t have a mast which probably explains why there is still four metres of water above it. It will probably be recovered to ensure it doesn’t move to a more dangerous location.