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When the storm Bodil hit Gilleleje

When the storm Bodil hit Denmark on Thursday, 5th December 2013, it especially affected the coastal areas. With its strong winds and resulting flood, Bodil caused chaos all over the country.

The coast of North Zealand was also hit very badly, as evident from the photo.

The harbour in Gilleleje almost resembled a battlefield, once the fury of the elements had passed. The devastation for the boat owners was beyond describing: Many of them could only find bits and pieces of their boats as flotsam, while other boats had sunk to the bottom of the harbour. The harbour structure itself had also been damaged.

The worst damage occurred to the marina. The bridges were broken, electrical and water installations were destroyed and the toilet building had been hit by a dislodged boat. In total, the damage to the harbour amounted to around 10 million Danish kroner – and that did not include the damages in the yacht club, Gilleleje Sejlklub, the rowing and kayaking club, Gilleleje Ro- og Kajakklub, and the winter swimmers’ club, Gilleleje Vintersvømmere, whose equipment and furniture had also been destroyed.

But the inhabitants of Gilleleje were not put off that easily.

115 days after the storm, the harbour once again welcomed visitors on 1st April 2014 with rebuilt marina bridges, new water and electricity installations, new signs and a new toilet building.

Volunteers had quickly initiated the clean-up, and the associations and clubs in the town established ”SOS Gilleleje Havn”, whose only purpose was to collect money for the rebuilding of the marina. Among the activities organised were concerts, bingo, charity balls, jewellery sales and haircutting. Everyone collected money, and many companies donated employees and materials or gave major discounts.

Because the characteristic feature of the inhabitants of Gilleleje is that they stick together – and have always done so. For this reason, the inhabitants of Hornbæk saw the townspeople of Gilleleje almost as a separate society, as they were self-sufficient and did not need anyone else (encyclopaedia of local history, Helsingør Leksikon (website in Danish). And clearly, this solidarity has been passed on to the current generations: The citizens’ solidarity and drive quickly got the harbour back on its feet.

Kilde og billede: Gilleleje Havn 

Coordinates:  Latitude: 56.130261
Longitude: 12.311408

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