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Review of Historic Flooding in Bude

Many flood events have been recorded in Bude.  Flooding is mainly caused by fluvial (river) flooding as well as the overtopping of Bude Canal. There have also been reports of:

  • surface water flooding
  • tidal flooding following tidal storm surges
  • flooding due to combinations of these causes

Frequently affected areas

  • The Strand
  • The Crescent
  • Vicarage Road
  • Petherick’s Mill
  • Nanny Moores Bridge area

Historic flooding events

  • In 1846 there was flooding of many properties.  This was from the high tide and high river levels as well as surface water runoff. Further flooding was recorded in 1875 and in 1984 it was reported that the school was flooded up to the level of the desks.  There was also three feet of water in the Post Office.
  • Flooding of the Crescent and the lower levels of Bude on both banks of the river was reported in 1900.  In 1903 there was further flooding in the Strand and Crescent areas.
  • In 1948 there was flooding at Falcon Terrace from the Bude Canal and  the river. General flooding was recorded following heavy rain and hail showers.
  • in 1950 there was flooding in Bude following heavy storms and continuous rainfall. 1958 saw flooding in Killerton Road, Bencollen Corner and various areas of the Strand.  There was also several feet depth of flooding occuring in Falcon Terrace and Vicarage Road.  Drains were unable to cope with the sudden rush of floodwaters.
  • In 1962 an extreme tidal storm surge of 7 feet (over 2 m) occured. Bencoolen Bridge overtopped and Nanny Moore's Bridge was submerged. Defences were overtopped by breaking waves.
  • Two incidents of flooding were reported in 1967 involving The Strand and The Crescent due to tide locked drains. In 1969 highway flooding occured in Bude, with water rising to several feet at Falcon Terrace. The roads at Rodd's Bridge were also blocked and the Bude to Holsworthy road was also flooded for some time.
  • In 1971 roads in the Vicarage Road area flooded.  In 1976 the basement to the Castle and 6 properties along The Cresent flooded.
  • In 1980 property flooded in Berries Avenue.  In 1982 The Strand along with a social club and 3 Cottages at Upton flooded.
  • In 1993 The Strand completely flooded.  At least 83 properties flooded in Vicarage Road area, Nanny Moores Bridge, Bencoolen Bridge, The Crescent and Leven Cottages.  This was when the river and canal burst their banks during excessive rain. 
  • In 1999 The Strand was closed and at leat 33 properties flooded due to water flowing up through the gullies and surcharging manholes.  At the Crescent there was surface water ponding half way up the road.  At Vicarage Road flooding was caused by blocked highway drainage. Culverts surcharged as the river and Bude Canal overtopped
  • In Flexbury, in 2000, properties flooded when a culvert screen blocked. In 2001 flooding was reported at Marshbrook and Maer Lane due to storm water. Quarry Close was flooded from Crooklets Stream.
  • In 2004 there was general flooding due to the overtopping of the river.  In the Bush area when a bridge constriction caused the river to back up and flood.
  • There are various reports of surface water flooding from fields and the highway during 2004-2007.  This was in Bude, Helebridge and Poughill.
  • In 2008 waves and a storm surge movied up the river channel.  Overtopping the embankment at Nanny Moores bridge and overtopping on The Parade and The Strand.
  • During the storms of 2014 The Strand was flooded a number of times.  This was due to tidal overtopping and the river backing up. The tennis courts and bowling green also flooded.

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