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Storm Ciara: Woman, 75, was just six feet from where 80ft tree crashed into house

PUBLISHED: 18:04 09 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:41 10 February 2020

A tree falls onto a house in Postwick as Storm Ciara hits Norfolk. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.

A tree falls onto a house in Postwick as Storm Ciara hits Norfolk. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.

Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative 2020

“A metre taller and it might have killed me.”

Amanda Rump's (left) mother was sat just sit feet away from the patio door, which smashed when the tree toppled. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.Amanda Rump's (left) mother was sat just sit feet away from the patio door, which smashed when the tree toppled. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.

That's what a 75-year-old Norfolk woman said after an 80-foot tree crashed into a house in Postwick.

Eileen Wharton, who lives in Church Road in the village with her daughter and her family, was sitting in the annexe and looking at a card at around midday on Sunday when she spotted something out of the corner of her eye.

"The last thing I expected to see was this great tree come crashing down," she said.

The giant tree had toppled after being battered by the 60mph gusts from Storm Ciara, fallen across the road and into the house.

Damage to the house's roof. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.Damage to the house's roof. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.

Luckily, the main trunk narrowly avoided the building, but branches caused significant damage to tiles and guttering on the roof and currently cover the patio in the back garden.

Mrs Wharton was sitting only six feet away from the patio doors - the glass was smashed and came into the room.

She escaped entirely uninjured, but shocked by the sudden impact.

She said: "It was so quick. You don't expect this sort of thing to happen to you. But we've often wondered if one of those big trees would come down in a storm, and now it has."

The trunk of the tree blocks the road after it fell. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.The trunk of the tree blocks the road after it fell. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative.

Her daughter, Amanda Rump, 50, said that she had been working on getting their house for more than a decade, but more work will need to be done now after the damage caused.

She said: "My daughter was in a bedroom on the far side of the house, and even she said she could feel the house shake.

"It's a shame because it's taken 12 years to get it to this point, and it's still not done. This will mean more work now.

"But at least everyone is okay."

Tree Surgeons work through Storm Ciara to clear the fallen tree blocking access into Postwick. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc CreativeTree Surgeons work through Storm Ciara to clear the fallen tree blocking access into Postwick. Picture: Lee Blanchflower - Blanc Creative

The road was blocked by the trunk, which had also hit power cables while falling.

A fire crew from Carrow was called to the scene to cut the tree and get the road reopened to traffic, but this was set to take several hours due to the thickness of the trunk and the threat of structural damage to the house.

It happened just a few miles further along the A47 from where another tree fell and blocked the westbound carriageway at Blofield.

Many other residents across Norfolk were affected by Storm Ciara - thousands of homes were hit by intermittent power cuts throughout the day, while a number of trees elsewhere were felled by the high winds.


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