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Braintree district: Remembering the Great Storm 25 years later
10:40am Tuesday 16th October 2012 in News
Today marks the 25th anniversary of what has been described as the worst storm in living memory.
Hurricane force winds swept across Britain on the night of the October 15 and 16, 1987, felling trees, knocking out power and causing widespread damage to homes.
The 100mph winds caused huge disruption to residents, businesses and educational establishments across Braintree and Witham.
A total of 2,256 Braintree Council properties were damaged during the night - eight houses in Coldnailhurst Avenue and Rosemary Avenue, in Braintree, had their roofs ripped off.
More than 400 trees were destroyed in council parks and open spaces in the district alone.
Council offices in Braintree and Witham received more than 1,300 calls for help from the public, keeping a 100-strong team of workers busy throughout the following weekend.
Rob Ward, 35, said: “I was living in Calamint Road at the time - like most people I slept through it. I was only ten at the time and the best thing was that the schools were shut so I spent the day walking round the town with my dad and sister.
“I couldn't believe the amount of trees that had come down. ”
Schools were left without heating, lighting or telephones, and those students who braved the journey were turned away at the door.
A car belonging to Panfield resident Mary King remarkably survived with barely a scratch on it, despite ending up halfway up a tree in Hall Road.
Andrea Abbott, 45, of Beckers Green Road, Braintree, said: “I went to work. walking from Goldingham Drive, stepping over or round fallen trees, missing power cables swinging across the road.
“I went with my foreman out into the sticks to carry on fixing an old lady’s front door, we ended up going 10 miles out of our way as trees had fallen across the road.
“Back then everything didn’t stop just because the weather was bad - you made do and carried on.”
Full story and more photos from the storm in tomorrow's Braintree and Witham Times and Friday's Halstead Gazette.
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