RAIN & FLOODS
FREAK WIND EFFECT
STORMY & WINDY DAYS
BRITAIN'S DRIEST PLACE
YEAR 2000
OCTOBER 1987
ONE MAN'S STORY 1953
FLOOD AT SEAWICK
JAN-FEB 1953

STRONG WIND FREAK EFFECT

Is it a bird, or a plane? No it’s a TRAMPOLINE!

On Tuesday 3rd. Jan the wind was forecast to be “Strong to Gale” little did we expect a mini hurricane. At 12.04 precisely with the wind roaring and rain turning to hale we lost our electricity supply. A telephone call told me why everybody in the road was off supply; a trampoline was hung up in the electricity mains pole! Very shortly afterwards, Police and the Fire Brigade arrived as several people had reported wires were down and sparking on their property. The firemen immediately stopped anybody entering or leaving their property until a representative from UK Power Networks arrived and confirmed that he had isolated the cables and pronounced them “dead”, - a very wise precaution. It was only then that the full extent of the damage was visible.



4 motor vehicles had been damaged, a brick wall and two chimneys demolished, a front door smashed, many roof tiles from several buildings missing and felt from a flat roof extension completely stripped and strewn over several adjacent properties. The trampoline had taken off from a garden, blown over the top of a two storey house, tearing down TV aerials and smashing roof tiles, eventually crossing the road and finishing on top of the electricity mains causing them to short circuit and burn down.
When the electricity linesmen arrived their first job was remove the offending trampoline so that they could assess the full extent of the damage. This took some time before they realised that they would have to replace a considerable amount of the overhead cables.
Some supplies were able to be restored by interlinking in D’Arcy Road, St. Clairs Drive and the flats off St. Clairs Road. However we knew that the remainder of St. Clairs Road would be off supply for a considerable time.
An approach was made to the Chairman and Treasurer of the Village Hall to see if an Emergency Centre could be set up in the Hall. The W.I. agreed that a group of members would help out providing Tea, Coffee and Soup together with Sandwiches for those without any means of providing food and keeping warm. A note was put through every door in St. Clair’s Road ( 71 properties) telling them about the service.
Unknown to us the electricity contractor had also contacted the British Red Cross telling them that the Hall was open and their emergency team suddenly turned up. They were able to visit houses where we knew that there might be either young children, elderly or infirmed persons who might need help and were not able to get to the Hall. They also gave out special hand torches which converted to room lanterns and were much appreciated by those left having to sit in the dark. The Centre operated for 3 hours until the last visitor left at 8.00pm.
The Red Cross team then went off to visit the linesmen & provide food and drink for them, several having been working up the poles for several hours in the bitter wind. Electricity supplies were eventually restored just after midnight some 12 hours after the mini-hurricane had passed through.
As a resident of St. Clairs Road, I must thank the Village Hall, the Women’s Institute and the British Red Cross for all the help they gave us that evening!
Top Picture Robert Clarke, close up picture and text from John White

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We actually had a flood warning on the 12th January in the following terms:
A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for the Essex Coast from Clacton to St Peters Flat including the Rivers Colne and Blackwater Estuaries.
Here we can see the high tide water climbing up the Sea Walls


Many fences around St Osyth and Point Clear did not stand up to the strong winds and were either blown over or more extremely, uprooted and blown across the road. This picture shows one of the boundary fences on the Orchards Holiday Park where not only do they form the site boundary but are also security fences during the closed season.


Some residents found it necessary to rope down parts of their properties vulnerable to strong winds, such as the plastic sheeted conservatory roof or garden structures more suited for tea in the sun than braving strong winds. On refuse collection day the streets were covered in various debris blown from bins and bags put out for collection.


(Picture by Robert Clarke) This caravan was completely destroyed by the recent strong winds. It was kept in a field just past the farm in Lee Wick Lane and had been purchased a few years ago to house summer labourers. The caravan had suffered some vandalism and was awaiting repair, but the damage allowed the wind to get in, the van blew over and then practically blew to bits at the same time!!


The two pictures below are copied from the web page on our site detailing events with some pictures and script of the storm that hit the south of England on 15th/16th of October 1987. The Caravans pictured, or what is left of them, are on a local Caravan Park at St Osyth Beach



M.J.T.
15/1/12


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