North Sea flood of 2007

Cyclone Tilo

Countries affected by 2007 North Sea Flood
Type European windstorm, Extratropical
Formed 6 November 2007
Dissipated 11 November 2007
Lowest pressure 974 hPa (28.8 inHg)[1]
Areas affected Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and United Kingdom

The North Sea flood of 2007 also known as Cyclone Tilo,[2] and as Andrea in Norway[3] was a storm tide of the North Sea affecting the coastlines of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Belgium, starting on the night of 8–9 November 2007.

Meteorological history

Cyclone Tilo was preceded by the extratropical remains of ex-Hurricane Noel on 7 November, which paved the way for the stronger upstream storm Tilo. The jet stream was diverted to the north by a strong ridge of high pressure to the west of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean[4] forcing the jet stream over the north of Greenland and back towards Europe. The unusually long fetch was considered important in the potential destructiveness of the storm, stretching down from the Norwegian Sea into the North Sea before reaching the east coast of England and the Dutch and German coasts.[4] In combination with a high tide, the tidal level was expected to exceed 3 metres (9.8 ft) above normal sea levels.


The flood and waves were expected to overwhelm sea defences and cause extensive flooding; in particular, the coasts of Norfolk and Kent. However, in the event, the storm surge was 20 centimetres (7.9 in) less than forecast, and damage was relatively minor.[5][6] However, in the Norfolk village of Walcott, storms breached the sea wall.[7] Also, the water level came to just 10 cm below the top of the sea wall surrounding Great Yarmouth.[8]

Flood warnings were issued for the east coast of Britain and the entire Dutch coast. The Maeslantkering in the port city of Rotterdam was closed for the first time since its construction in 1997.[9] Denmark and Germany issued severe gale warnings for winds gusts up to 125 km/h (78 mph), and the Scottish islands of Orkney and Shetland expected winds gusts up to 145 km/h (90 mph). Oil platforms off the coast of Norway were also closed for the duration of the storm. Felixstowe docks were closed and trains services were suspended between Lowestoft and Norwich due to flooding of the line.[10]

In Scotland all schools in Orkney were closed with some closures also in Caithness and Sutherland. Wind gusts as high as 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) were reported, along with early snow for the Scottish highlands. The Northlink ferry company cancelled sailings between the Northern Isles. Caledonian MacBrayne also cancelled a dozen routes to the Western Isles. 4000 homes lost power in Grampian; there were also reports of trees and roofs being blown down.[11] A rescue tug was called on to stand by a 240-foot cargo ship struggling in the sea off Shetland. The A90 road was closed between Aberdeen and Peterhead after a lorry was blown over. A double-decker bus was blown off the road near Mintlaw in Aberdeenshire.[11] There were also reports of a roof blown off in Fraserburgh.[12]


One other consequence of the storm was a record influx of little auks (a small Arctic seabird) into the North Sea, with a count of 18,371 from the Farne Islands on 9 November as they returned north, nearly double the previous record count, then further counts there of 7,143 on 10 November and 28,803 on 11 November.[13][14]

North Norfolk District Council were left seeking to apply for compensation from the government's Bellwin scheme for natural disasters. Replacing damaged promenade handrails was estimated to cost £20,000, while council-owned beach chalets were estimated to cost more than £40,000 to mend. Inspections were also undertaken of the steel under Cromer pier, where waves had damaged the floor of the Pavilion Theatre.[15]


  1. "Orkantief "Tilo" mit Folgen" (in German). Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  2. "2007 Low pressure names". Free University of Berlin. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  3. "Høye bølger setter oljebransjen i beredskap" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Storms of the North Sea". Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  5. "Surge of 9 November 2007-11-09". National Oceanographic Centre. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  6. "North Sea flood tide fears recede". BBC News. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  7. "Clean-up begins after the typhoon that never was". London: Daily Mail. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  8. "Storm surge - November 2007". Met Office. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  9. "Threat of English coastal flooding eases". RTÉ News. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  10. "Thousands go home after tide fear". BBC. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  11. 1 2 "100mph Storms Close Roads And Schools". Daily Record. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  12. "Commuters battle gale force winds". The Scotsman. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  13. BirdGuides bird news (requires subscription)
  14. Bird forum archive Retrieved 28 February 2012
  15. "Surge floods prompt new erosion fears". North Norfolk News. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
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