In 1953, a flood devastated Canvey Island. There are many reasons for it, but it’s mostly summed up in this text from www.newshopper.co.uk:
”It began with a deep depression of enormous intensity which had moved from Iceland in a south-easterly direction on January 30, 1953, forcing a tremendous volume of Atlantic water into the North Sea.
In addition, there was a full moon and a spring tide which raised the sea 10ft higher than normal.
Just after midnight on February 1, water began to pour over the top of sea walls into the giant oil refinery on the Isle of Grain.
Within minutes, the archaic defence system collapsed and huge waves swept inland, swirling up the Medway estuary.
Within hours, industries all along the banks of the two river estuaries had been thrown out of production.
Gasworks, power stations and factories suffered immense damage and the consequences to both arable and dairy farms were calamitous.
From Woolwich to North Foreland, the storm winds generated a wave action so immense whole beaches were destroyed and swept away.
The water surged around the Littlebrook power station, cutting it off from the mainland.
At North Reach, water poured into Joseph Wells fireworks factory and generated explosions so ferocious windows were blasted out in Dartford.
The people of Kent, in the darkness of their homes, had no idea of the horrors unfolding a few miles across the water at Canvey Island.
Between 12.30am and 2am the islanders were fighting for their lives and only those who had taken refuge in attic lofts and on the roofs of their houses were out of danger.
Within 15 minutes of the sea wall being breached the water was above windowsill level and gushing down streets with astonishing ferocity.
Canvey Island’s death toll that night was 58”
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