1987 Storm: Men drafted in to restire power

Here is a look back at the EDP's coverage of the 1987 storm from 19th October 1987.

The battle to restore power supplies to 500 homes in West Norfolk continued yesterday.

Electricity board workers from Wales and Yorkshire joined local teams working 18-hour days to locate and repair faults.

At the peak of the problem on Friday nearly a quarter of West Norfolk's consumers – well over 20,000 homes – were without electricity.

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'The situation has got steadily better, and now we are sorting out individual faults scattered throughout the area,' said distribution engineer David Bunting.

'Every man available is still working, and we hope all consumers will be back on before the weekend is over,' he said, adding that a helicopter had been used again to spot isolated problems.

Mr Bunting said hotels at Kings Lynn had co-operated in accommodating men from Yorkshire and Wales, who drove through the night to West Norfolk.

'They have been very helpful, staying up to let the men in and providing early breakfasts and packed lunches,' he said.

Downham Market was one of the problem areas, and one of he electricity board teams was busy yesterday at Crow Hall Estate.

Dave McManus was forced to close his restaurant at the Hare Arms, Stow Bardolph, when the power supply failed. 'It has been off for two and a half days and unfortunately we have had to throw away a lot of food from the freezer. But the customers liked the candles and paraffin lamps we had lighting the bar,' he said.

Many Yarmouth area homes were still without electricity yesterday.

Eastern Electricity said they were working flat out in a bid to restore supplies, but it would be Tuesday at the earliest before everybody was back to normal.

The area manager for Yarmouth and Lowestoft, Peter Marshall, said yesterday that between 18 or 19 parishes – including Runham, Mautby, Fleggburgh and Somerleyton – were still without power.

Staff from other electricity boards have been drafted in because Eastern Electricity has not the manpower to cope.