September 21 2014 Latest news:
Monday, October 15, 2012
Here is a look back at the EDP’s coverage of the 1987 storm from 20 October 1987
Four days after the worst hurricane-force winds on record, Norfolk’s emergency and public services are still faced with a massive clear-up operation.
Thousands of homes are still without electricity supplies, some communities are without running water, and many homes still show the scars of the battering they took from the weekend’s frightening weather.
It could be days before the power is switched on in all the county’s homes, while electricity, water and council workers all battle to get things back to normal.
In some places, the Army has been brought in to help clear fallen trees and other windswept debris.
By far the biggest job is that facing Eastern Electricity. Reinforcement workers from Scotland and Northern Ireland have been flown into Norfolk to help repair work.
At one time, one in four of the Board’s 2 ¾ million customers were without electricity. By last night, 5800 Norfolk customers were still in the dark and linesmen were still working every daylight hour restoring supplies.
The eventual repair bill could be £2 million – but it is unlikely that customers will have to pay it.
“As a commercial enterprise we will absorb the repair costs, and it is unlikely that these costs will show in electricity charges,” said Eastern Electricity’s information services manager Peter Flower.
The search for electricity problem areas took to the air with a fleet of helicopters carrying engineers to inaccessible damage, and enabling a huge air lift of vital repair equipment.
District engineer for the Norwich office, Len Bacon, said: “In some places we are having to rebuild overhead lines completely from scratch.
“Three hundred staff are out there working all daylight hours and the office is manned 24 hours a day dealing with inquiries. There has been extraordinary damage and this really is a massive exercise,” he said.
On the water front, things were just about getting back “on an even keel”, according to Anglian Water information officer Jackie Carroll.
But she issued a warning that people were using too much water as electricity and water supplies were reconnected, The increase in demand was causing power surges and hampering repair work.