On October 15, 1987, the largest storm in more than 250 years swept up through the English Channel and North Sea, causing the deaths of 22 people and extensive damage in England, France, Spain, Belgium, and Norway. The storm winds blew at more than 113 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour) for four-hour stretches, with the strongest gusts being more than 193 kilometers per hour (120 miles per hour). Fifteen million trees in England were knocked down by the storm, and parts of the country were left without electrical power for two weeks. In France, the coast was lashed by 16-meter (52-foot) waves and a quarter of the forests in Brittany were destroyed.
The Great Storm of 1987 was declared a rare event, expected to happen only once every several hundred years. However, less than three years later, a storm of even greater intensity (the so-called “Burns Day Storm”) again caused massive destruction in the same region.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry destroy Verb
to ruin or make useless.
English Channel Noun
strip of the Atlantic Ocean between southeast England and northwest France.
to cover with trees and other vegetation.
sudden, strong wind.
very large or heavy.
severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.
movement of air (from a high pressure zone to a low pressure zone) caused by the uneven heating of the Earth by the sun.