The Great Storm: 30 Years On

Published on by Neil Miles (author)

Location(s): Hastings

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Thirty years to the day that the great storm of '87 devastated the South East of England with windspeed of upto 103 miles per hour and resulted in the deaths of two people from Hastings , residents share their memories of the "horrific" night. 

The region was completely unprepared for the storm which hit the south east in the early hours of the morning on Friday 16th October 1987.  Residents awoke to scenes of carnage after roofs were torn off, trees were ripped in half and roads were left with no access.

Thousands of properties were left without power, while a big proportion of the town was flooded.  Forcing some residents to be evacuated from their homes.

St. Leonards resident Denise Barnfield says she remembers the night vividly: "We all went to bed quite normally.  But at about two o'clock in the morning, these enormous bangs woke me up."  

"I went and stood in the kitchen with my husband.  We was waiting for the roof to come off, which half of it did.  It was not fun."

"We spent the next day looking for a roofer, thanks Micheal Fish."  she said.

Thirty years on to the day, the latest advances in the field are being used to prepare the UK for a similar battering from Storm Ophelia, that made landfall on the east coast of Northern Ireland this morning. Met Office technology has improved significantly from the days of hand drawn weather maps. Something Hastings residents would have appreciated at the time.  



Pauline Penfold,  a former resident of Hastings said: "It was horrific, they completely got it wrong."

  "It was like one of them tornados they get in America. I had a conifer in the back garden that had been split down the middle and the conservatory was smashed but I was lucky my roof stayed in tack." she said. 








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