In early 2020, the UK suffered two storms, back to back. Ciara and Dennis brought misery as torrential rain caused severe flooding, washing some buildings away. Winds in excess of 80mph caused shop fronts to collapse and buses to blow over. These storms made venturing outside very risky – and tragically, some people lost their lives. Now, after the clouds have cleared, what can we do to clean up?

Two Back to Back Storms Hit the UK

The first storm to land was Storm Ciara, arriving on the weekend of 8th-9th February. Ciara caused flooding, power cuts and damage – it even caused three tragic deaths in the UK and 13 overall as it travelled into Europe.

80mph winds blew buses off the road and roofing was torn from buildings. As the storm progressed, it hit a peak wind speed of 136mph. Flooding posed a danger to life, as more than seven inches of rainfall was recorded in parts of the UK.

Ciara caused an estimated £1.6 billion of damage.

The following weekend, before anyone could recover from Ciara, storm Dennis was blowing brickwork away from buildings and causing further flooding. Gusts peaked at 140mph offshore. Six have been confirmed to have died, and one person is still missing.

Wales bore the brunt of the rainfall, where a red warning was put in place – the first for more than 5 years.

Across the British Isles, winds caused damage to businesses, homes and public spaces – in areas already reeling from the previous storm.

Site Clearance for Collapsed and Flooded Buildings

When buildings, trees and public utilities have been damaged beyond repair, they need to be removed as quickly as possible to prevent injury. Buildings need to be secured against further collapse, flooding or entry by passersby – and this usually involves removal of collapsed or damaged parts.

Site clearance is an important first step in making storm damaged areas safe again. Site surveys can establish what needs to be done, acting as a first response for storm damage. Site surveys can inform the process and methods, as well as whether or not materials can be salvaged.

Can Damaged Materials be Salvaged?

It depends on the scale, severity and type of damage but generally, there will be some use for damaged materials. Even totally destroyed sections of buildings can be inspected for reuse – and at worst, they can be crushed into aggregates for use in backfilling or making new concrete.

There will inevitably be some demolition required – but even if materials aren’t whole, they can be given a new lease of life in another form.

Construction Waste Management Experts

For further information on any of our waste management or site clearance services, please contact us today – call 01666 505800 or email us at For demolition contractors, contact our parent company Hughes and Salvidge on 0808 231 3447.