St. Lucia's flood

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St. Lucia's flood (Sint-Luciavloed) was a storm tide that affected the Netherlands and Northern Germany on 14 December 1287 (the day after St. Lucia Day) when a dike broke during a storm, killing approximately 50,000 to 80,000 people in the sixth largest flood in recorded history. Much land was permanently flooded in what is now the Waddenzee and IJsselmeer. It especially affected the north of the Netherlands, particularly Friesland. The island of Griend was almost destroyed, only ten houses being left standing. The name Zuiderzee dates from this event, as the water had merely been a shallow inland lake when the first dikes were being built, but rising North Sea levels created the "Southern Sea" when floods including this flood came in.

This disaster was similar to the North Sea flood of 1953, when an extreme low pressure system coinciding with a high tide caused a storm surge.

In England[edit]

Although not known by the name of St. Lucia, the same storm also had devastating effects on the other side of the North Sea in England. It killed hundreds of people in England,[1] e.g. in the village of Hickling, Norfolk, where 180 died and the water rose a foot above the high altar in the Priory Church.[2]

The storm is one of two in 1287 sometimes referred to as a "Great Storm". The other was the South England flood of February 1287. Together with a surge in January 1286,[3] they seem to have prompted the decline of one of England's then leading ports, Dunwich in Suffolk.

See also[edit]


  1. Gevaar van water, water in gevaar uit 2001 ISBN 90-71736-21-0
  2. Buisman, Jan, Duizend jaar weer, wind en water in de Lage Landen (Deel 1: tot 1300), ISBN 978-90-5194-075-6


  1. ^ "1287 - A Terrible Year for Storms". VillageNet. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Hickling". A History of the County of Norfolk 2. 1906. pp. 383–386. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  3. ^ Simons, Paul (2008). Since Records Began. London: Collins. pp. 175–6. ISBN 978-0-00-728463-4.