In 1987, on the night of the 15th-16th of October, a storm blew in across my hometown, and caused chaos. It had wider effects than those felt here,
and actually did significant damage both sides of the English Channel. Eighteen people in the UK lost their lives, and four in France, and many more
were injured by falling trees, buildings, and other debris that had been caught up in the gusting winds, exceeding eighty miles per hour in speed.
Homes and other buildings were damaged, some by the force of the wind alone, and others by having trees and telegraph poles dropped on them. I was
about two and a half at the time, and slept through the storm. I was agog the morning after, when we ventured outside, every chimney pot for as far
down the road as I could see, had been demounted, and dashed to the pavement, and all the fences were bent, or broken, or scattered around the street.
Car windows had a plethora of debris sticking through them.
These things I remember, but it was only later, when I was older, that I was able to connect with the wider impacts of the storm, that I understood
that people had died while I slept soundly, despite the chaos outside my window.
I am now twenty eight years old, and if the met office and the BBC, as well as several other news sources are to be believed, we are due another
severe storm. Now, many of our American members here, will be asking what the big deal is, and I can well understand that. Lets face it, not many
places on the planet get quite the kicking that the US does from its weather. However, that storm of 1987 was the worst for three hundred years in my
nation, and we are apparently getting another one, due to sweep in on Sunday night, into Monday morning. Our homes and infrastructure are not built to
withstand such rare occurrences as a three hundred year storm, which is why, in 1987 a local couple were known to have said "We woke up because of the
noise, and wondered why the wallpaper looked funny. Turned out the wall itself was shaking because of the wind!".
This is a concern, because many of the buildings here in my hometown are of 1800s construction, and have not changed fundamentally since their
initial erection. Chimney pots and roofing tiles can become missiles under certain circumstances, as can most anything that is not bolted down well,
which is why my folks and I are clearing our balcony garden away and battening down the hatches over the weekend.
However, I fully intend to be out and about during the run up to this storm, and I am going to ATTEMPT to get some on the spot visual record with my
crappy little compact camera. I do not want to sleep through this storm. I want to be awake to bear witness to its awesome might. I want to see its
effects, make records, and I would ultimately like to be able to stand before its power and feel it for myself.
Here are some links that will show a little of the effects of the last big storm.
This one has a decent video from channel 4, explaining some of the damage and the situation the storm left behind.
A wiki, because its rude not to.
Met office fact file on the effects of the last big storm.
edit on 26-10-2013 by Gemwolf because: Added to title