When the wind blew: Suf­folk’s story

EADT Suffolk - - Real Life -

Do you re­mem­ber the night the 1987 hur­ri­cane hit Suf­folk hard? We awoke to a new land­scape. Trees were felled, homes and gar­dens dam­aged, build­ings were bat­tered, rail lines closed, power lines downed. It was the morn­ing of Oc­to­ber 16, 1987, and for the peo­ple of Great Bri­tain it brought the re­al­i­sa­tion that we had just been vis­ited by the worst storm in more than 200 years, with winds gust­ing up to 115mph. The fe­ro­cious gale left 18 dead, brought down 15 mil­lion trees and left hun­dreds of thou­sands of homes across the coun­try with­out power. With power out for days and a mas­sive na­tion­wide clean up needed to tackle the af­ter­math, it would be a long and ex­pen­sive time be­fore the coun­try re­cov­ered from the dam­age of that sin­gle Oc­to­ber night. Suf­folk saw some of the strong­est of these gales, with the wind speed recorded at more than 102mph at Martle­sham Health, out­side Ip­swich. The morn­ing light brought shock and hor­ror at the dam­age wrought by the power of the wind. Along the coast car­a­vans were turned to match­wood, and from towns and vil­lages across Suf­folk – and around the coun­try - came re­ports of cars crushed by trees, roofs smashed by chim­neys, walls top­pled, de­bris block­ing roads and caus­ing trans­port chaos. The county was bruised and bat­tered, as the strik­ing images on these pages, taken by pho­tog­ra­phers from the East Anglian Daily Times, re­call. Thirty years on our sis­ter mag­a­zine Let’s Talk looks at the trail of dev­as­ta­tion left in its wake. For more nos­tal­gia, great fea­tures and in­ter­est­ing in­ter­views, sub­scribe to Let’s Talk mag­a­zine each month.

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