It was a hurricane storm that caught the entire country unaware and between 2am and 4am, it completely battered Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst and the south coast. The fateful night went down in history as the worst storm to hit the county in more than 300 years. It just suddenly swept across southern Britain, causing widespread chaos and damage.
The Observer dedicated pages of coverage to the aftermath of the Great Storm for weeks following the hurricane. The dramatic headlines included ‘Storm leaves chaos and destruction’ and ‘damage put at £20m after night of devastation’. Thousands of homes and business premises were destroyed as winds of up to 108 miles per hour battered the county. Many homes were so badly damaged that families were forced to leave temporarily.