Memories of Disaster: Storm Ali One Week Later 

Like the fires of Olympus blazing through the fragile structure of a small meringue, Storm Ali brought the county of Fife to a standstill. With wind speeds as high as several mph, inhabitants of St Andrews have faced property damage, psychological warfare, and bother.

The historic chestnut tree in Madras College, levelled by the storm

The historic chestnut tree in Madras College, levelled by the storm

It all began last Wednesday, when local weather alerts were raised to a Beige Warning (“somewhat inconvenient”). Meteorological experts immediately predicted that the weather would worsen as the week went on, unless it didn’t. These storm warnings resulted in major disruptions to St Andrews public transport, although nobody seemed to notice.

Day-to-day life was also gravely affected by the tempestuous climate. Local resident Nora Frabbage relates: “There was a bit of a breeze and my hair got blown into my coffee. I usually don’t mind hair in my coffee, but only when I put it there myself.”

While the town was pulled apart by the catastrophic weather, cities across the country rekindled the old argument about what is the actual difference between a hurricane, a typhoon, and a big storm. The Met Office later released an official statement, commenting “It’s something to do with a big body of water, or where it comes from? But who cares anyway you’ll have forgotten all about it by next week.” 

Many public paths were impassable due to flooding

Many public paths were impassable due to flooding

As part of their new standard anti-cyclone programme, Fife Council later released a new guidance pamphlet. Residents are now advised to tut disapprovingly when looking at the sky, and to wear dramatic flowing coats while outdoors. Practical long-term solutions to the extreme weather are also discussed. “We must placate the Sea Bastard with vernal flesh,” recommends Supplicant Groach of the Drowning Brotherhood.

Tutorials continue in the ruins of Younger Hall

Tutorials continue in the ruins of Younger Hall

The devastation caused by Storm Ali has been ranked #6 in the official record of St Andrews Tragic Events, placing it between the headlice epidemic of 1846 and the introduction of the Greggs limited edition strawberry and lead doughnut.

Carnage

Carnage

In the wake of the storm, St Andrews officials have announced intentions to rename side street Butts Wynd, which many locals claim is insensitive and brings back traumatic barometric memories. Proposed alternatives include Butts Exit, Butts Opening, and Ass Lane. Whatever they decide, it’s unclear whether a simple name change will stop this town reliving the nightmare of Storm Ali for years to come.

Townsfolk will be tormented by Butts Wynd no longer

Townsfolk will be tormented by Butts Wynd no longer

Written by Daisy Price