Wet, wet, wet in port four decades ago

Fleetwood floods of 1977  - the junction of Broadway, West Way and the Strand
Fleetwood floods of 1977 - the junction of Broadway, West Way and the Strand

This Saturday will mark 40 years since Fleetwood experienced its worst flood.

Across the North West, more than 5,000 properties and 7,900 acres of agricultural land were flooded.

Rossall School fields in the '77 floods

Rossall School fields in the '77 floods

During the tidal flooding events – which continued on November 12 – there were approximately 60 breaches of flood embankments.

The worst affected towns were Fleetwood, Knott End, Pilling, Blackpool and Morecambe.

Unlike the devastating floods which had hit Fleetwood 50 years earlier, killing six, no loss of human life was reported in 1977, but the flooding of agricultural areas resulted in the loss of hundreds of cattle, sheep and pigs .

Sea levels reached 6.2m in the port, after a Force 10 storm – gusting to Force 12 – over the Irish Sea hit the area.

MP Peter Blaker (left) and Mr Norman Miscampbell talk to workmen during their tour of flood damage, in Fleetwood in 1977

MP Peter Blaker (left) and Mr Norman Miscampbell talk to workmen during their tour of flood damage, in Fleetwood in 1977

The flooding – which was extensive, with homes, businesses, public buildings, roads and electricity all affected – was sudden and unexpected, there were no arrangements of giving advanced warnings to the public in place at that time.

The sea had crumbled parts of the sea wall in Fleetwood and swamped around a third of the town.

The area where roads and houses were flooded stretched from Rossall School to the Fleetwood Sea Cadet Corps base, a distance of two miles.

Water had also flowed on to the Flakefleet estate.

Flooded tramtrack and dual carriageway into Cleveleys, in 1977

Flooded tramtrack and dual carriageway into Cleveleys, in 1977

All emergency services, including Wyre Borough Council, combined, as people fled their homes carrying children and possessions.

Broadway was blocked and only juggernaut lorries were able to reach stranded people.

Even when the tide turned the following night, the water did not disappear because of drains blocked by debris and the next morning, much of the town was still under water.

Fleetwood floods, 1927

Fleetwood floods, 1927