1987 storm: Hurricane-force

Here is a look back at the Great Yarmouth Mercury's coverage of the 1987 storm from 23rd October 1987

A massive cleaning up operation has been going on in Yarmouth this week after one of the most devastating – and unexpected – storms for years.

Last Friday's hurricane-force winds ravaged the town and left many people without electricity for several days.

Houses, factories, vehicles and trees all suffered in the whipping winds, reported at 90 mph at times.

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Thousands of families in the area woke on Friday morning to find fences and walls blown down, slates ripped off their roofs and in some cases even parts of their homes collapsing under the cruel force of the storm.

Police in Yarmouth and Gorleston were inundated with calls from people reporting various personal disasters and the fire brigade were kept busy.

Electricity problems were particularly bad in Ormesby, Caister and Belton and the Breydon Bridge was closed to traffic as a precautionary measure.

Eastern Electricity were at work over the weekend to begin restoring services and area manager Mr Peter Marshall reported resources were stretched well beyond the limit.

As in many southerly areas the Electricity Board ferried in workers from the north of England and even Scotland to help out.

On Monday Eastern Electricity warned people not to touch any grounded cables as power would gradually be returned to them.

The borough council also faced a mammoth clearing up task.

Assistant engineer Mr Bob Dornan said earlier in the week that there was clearly a long job ahead. The parks department would be clearing away all the fallen trees and making others safe if it was possible to save them, he said.

Sweepers were also out trying to clear away what Mr Dornan described as the pile up of 'minor debris' around the town.

The council had to bring in extra generators over the weekend to keep some of the sewage systems going, Mr Dornan added.

Car owners also suffered. Several people reported their vehicles had been damaged by falling trees and walls.

Mr Steve Waite, of Albion Road, found a huge wall on the top of his Ford Escort, which had been parked in Albion Road.

In Gorleston, the Larners found several garage roofs strewn across their 18-month-old car.

Mrs Patricia Larner, of Edinburgh Avenue, said they were awoken at about 5.30am by a terrific crash.

'We thought our roof had come in for a minute,' she said. 'We got up to find about three garage roofs on top of our car.'

Most children were back at school on Monday, although Oriel High and the St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary were both closed until Tuesday.

Deputy area education officer, Mr Monty Ellson said there was roof damage at Oriel which had to be made safe before pupils could be allowed back.