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Hampshire counts the cost after storm St Jude
7:24am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
IT was one of the worst storms in years – and now the major clear-up begins.
Homeowners are counting the cost of storm St Jude today after winds reaching nearly 100mph battered Hampshire.
There was chaos as roads were blocked by debris, train lines closed, and widespread flooding following the storm, which claimed three lives nationally.
Cheriton Road, Winchester
People across the county told of their lucky escapes as fallen trees hit homes and storm-force winds ripped off roofs.
The Met Office recorded 100mph winds at The Needles near the Isle of Wight, while speeds across Hampshire reached in excess of 80mph.
Major clean-up operations took place on a number of major roads in and out of the county.
Bedford Place, Southampton
Hampshire Constabulary received more than 200 calls from the public between Sunday lunchtime and midday yesterday.
The force was called 221 times across the county in relation to road conditions.
Oakwood Drive, Southampton
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service dealt with 15 weather-related calls in total over the same period.
A spokesman said the recorded calls were incidents firefighters attended and assisted with, but there were other calls that were passed to the police.
Of the 15, ten of the incidents were to help secure dangerous structures, one was a flooding incident, one involved a road traffic collision involving a tree in Hartley Wintney, two were to provide chainsaw assistance at the police headquarters in Winchester and Netley, and one was to help secure fallen cables in Swanmore.
The Avenue, Southampton
With damaged trees falling on electricity poles throughout the day, power was still off in pockets within the Hampshire countryside last night, including areas in the New Forest, Bishop’s Waltham, Upham and Botley.
Fire crews were also last night quelling a smouldering fire in undergrowth near Lindford which was caused by a fallen pole.
Despite the chaos, Cllr Sean Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet member for the economy, said the storm would have had little impact on the local economy. He said: “I would say we have got off relatively lightly. We have had nothing like the storm of 26 years ago.
St James's Park, Southampton
“We had 145 roads partially or fully closed and I think if the county had done nothing with the roads then criticism would have been made, but we were pretty well prepared for that.
“The trains not running for a few hours would have had a greater impact on the economy than the roads.”
Hampshire County Council said it had extra teams working through the night to keep the county moving – clearing roads of fallen trees and tackling flooding. It predicts it could take up to three days to completely clear the roads of debris.
Regents Park Road, Southampton
Train commuters faced lengthy delays as engineers dealt with around 50 fallen trees and debris across the network.
South West Trains advised passengers not to travel, with a significantly reduced service introduced as clearing work was carried out.
Customers with single or return tickets dated Monday, October 28, can use them today.
Around 10,500 homes were still without power in the Hampshire area yesterday afternoon, according to Southern Electric figures.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it is too early to say how much damage this storm has caused, but the Great Stormof 1987 cost insurers around £2 billion in today’s money.
Bournemouth Road, Chandler's Ford
Aidan Keer, from the ABI, said claims for weather are “unpredictable”.
He said: “Events like this are exactly what insurance is for.
“Insurers understand the devastation that weather like this causes and their first priority will be to work as quickly as possible to deal with claims and help customers recover.”
Insurance firm Aviva said the most common types of storm claims include roof tiles blown off, damaged TV and radio aerials, damage to chimneys, fallen trees damaging buildings, and the lifting of roofing felt, particularly on sheds.
It is too early to say how much damage was caused, but the Great Storm of 1987 caused £2 billion-worth in today’s money.
- Four people were killed nationally in the storm.
- More than 82,000 homes were left without power in the south – and could be waiting until today before it is turned back on.
- Around 9,500 people in the New Forest were still without power yesterday afternoon.
- More than 1,000 Southern Electric engineers were out restoring power to homes across southern England.
- The Met Office said a gust of 99mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight, at 5am.
- Network Rail said more than 100 fallen trees were found on lines, and several hundred staff have been working to monitor conditions and react to any damage.
- More than 100 roads were partially or fully closed across Hampshire.
- The Environment Agency said there were 12 flood warnings in place across the south-west, the Midlands and the east of England. There were also 131 flood alerts telling people to be prepared for flooding.
- Hampshire police received 221 calls over 24 hours from midday on Sunday in relation to road conditions.
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