Press release

50th anniversary of the devastating floods in East Devon

10 July 1968 saw one of the worst natural disasters East Devon has ever experienced.

Flooding in the centre of Sidmouth, July 1968

Fore Street, Sidmouth, July 1968

A summer storm flooded homes and businesses across the south west, thousands were driven from their homes and tragically a number of lives were lost.

The Environment Agency, together with the Sid Vale Association will commemorate the floods of July 1968 with a free exhibition of historic flood photographs and maps. They are inviting residents and visitors to come along and share their experiences or to simply view the photographs on display.

Date: 7 and 8 July 2018

Opening times: 10.30am to 4pm


Kennaway House
EX10 8NG

Flooding in East Budleigh, East devon, July 1968
Frogmore Road, East Budleigh, July 1968

Chris Khan, Flood Risk Officer at the Environment Agency, said

This is one of the biggest floods we have recorded in Devon. Many communities that we work with were affected. We would like as many people as possible to come along, whether they are a local resident or on holiday. We would love visitors to share memories and bring any photographs they have.

The impacts of the flood were immense; bridges collapsed causing roads to close. Sidmouth, Colyton, Honiton, Newton Poppleford, East Budleigh and Ottery St Mary all had significant flood damage whilst The Otterhead reservoir was completely washed away.

A lot has changed since 1968; similar storms still occur but people and businesses are better protected than ever before. In the last 10 years the Government has invested more than £6.1 billion in flood risk management work including many flood alleviation schemes across the south west.

There are also tools to help you reduce your own risk of flooding. The Environment Agency send targeted flood warnings to over a million people in England – giving them vital time to prepare for flooding. You can sign up for free flood warnings online or by ringing 0345 988 1188.

Published 28 June 2018