Iris Hersey was living in Victoria Courts flats in 1987 when the storm hit Worthing and remembers the whole block of 36 flats actually swaying. It was a very frightening time.
Tomorrow’s expected storm named ‘St Jude’, as it arrives on St Jude’s Day, is not forecast to be as wild as 1987 but gusts of up to 80 mph and heavy rain are expected. St Jude is the patron saint of desperate causes and his name is invoked in desperate situations.
There was a desperate situation in June last year as floods caused by heavy rains prompted a West Sussex County Council flood investigation report extending to 106 pages. The report identified 11 flooding ‘clusters’ in West Sussex on which the council would focus their efforts – two areas were in Worthing (Central Worthing and West Worthing).
Following the report West Sussex launched ‘Operation Watershed’ – an £8.25 million commitment to invest in highway drainage and environmental improvements in areas of the county worst affected by floods.
Yet as far as Worthing Daily is aware no action has been taken or money spent on the areas of East Worthing which regularly flood and indeed did so last June. We trust those residents who suffered flooding last time will not suffer again.
Let’s hope the St Jude Day’s warning will prompt the Worthing members of West Sussex County Council to press for the promised action by the flood investigation report.
So next time we have a storm Worthing has no need to invoke the patron saint of desperate causes.