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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 16:54 GMT
Britain counts storm damage cost
A fallen tree by the Natural History Museum in London
Few parts of the country escaped disruption
The UK has been battling to return to normal and repair the damage caused by the weekend's savage storms, which left seven dead.

Fallen trees and power lines devastated road and rail networks, forcing some roads and bridges to close and train companies, ferry operators and airlines to suspend or delay services.

Damage caused by the stormy weather could cost up to 50m to repair, according to the Association of British Insurers.

Weather experts say that while wind speeds of more than 90mph reached the equivalent of force 10 on the Beaufort scale, conditions were not as severe as the great storm of October 1987.

HMS St Albans
HMS St Albans was damaged when it was hit by a ferry at Portsmouth

The highest recorded wind speed was a gust of 96.6mph at the Mumbles in south Wales.

Two boys, one aged 12 and another aged about three, died after being struck on the head in separate incidents in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The older boy, Christopher Vince, died after a tree hit him near his home in Costessey, near Norwich, as he walked through a wooded area with his older brother and friends.

The younger child is understood to have been with his mother and dog when he was struck as he sat in his pushchair in woods in Felixstowe.

He died later in hospital.

Elsewhere in East Anglia, a middle-aged man from Whittington, near Downham Market, Norfolk, died after being hit by a falling tree in his back garden.

An 11-year-old girl was killed and her mother, 46, and sister, 20, seriously injured when a large branch crushed their car on the A41 near their family home in Ternhill near Market Drayton, Shropshire.

A man died on the A40 near Bwlch, Brecon, Wales, when a large branch hit the roof of his car.

In Oxford, a 22-year-old woman was killed and her two sisters were injured when a tree fell on their car.

London
London streets were also hit by the storms

A sea angler was swept out to sea while fishing off rocks with friends north of Aberdeen.

The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead on arrival at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

In Cumbria, police are said to be "concerned" about Sean Murphy, 63, who was last seen leaving a pub in Whithaven at 2330 BST on Saturday.

Mr Murphy from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was heading back to his yacht but never made it.

Power loss

Emergency services in the East Midlands recorded one of the busiest Sundays in a decade, with police forces reporting about 500 more calls than usual.

Electricity company 24Seven said half of its 200,000 customers in East Anglia who were cut off on Sunday are still without power.

It dealt with 500,000 calls and had to call engineers from France to help restore electricity.

In Wales, about 15,000 households are without power.

Energy company Western Power Distribution needed engineers from England and Ireland, after 120,000 homes lost electricity at the height of the storm.

Have your say

I was due to fly from London Heathrow to Hanover at 11.50 yesterday morning but due to the winds, I could not fly until 18.05 and even then there were further delays. Upon arrival in Germany, the landing approach was the bumpiest ever and one not to experience again!
Ben Lord, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England

It seems that our infrastructure does not have the resilience it had in 1987 when we came through a greater storm with less disruption.
Gary Heard, Norfolk UK

I am often amused at the way the UK seems to grind to a halt when freak weather conditions occur

Greg Dennett, The Netherlands
Sunday's storm also had an effect on the rest of Northern Europe. I live in Holland, and having witnessed trees being uprooted, caravans being thrown about etc, I am surprised that both here and in the UK, the loss of live suffered was so low. I am often amused at the way the UK seems to grind to a halt when freak weather conditions occur.
Greg Dennett, The Netherlands

Well at least flying was fun. The approaches into Heathrow and Zurich yesterday were better than a roller coaster ride.
Dave, Switzerland

Over three and a half hours to commute into work this morning. I only wish the winds would get behind the train a bit more!
Simon McCrossan, Bedford, England

Well, all credit to the weathermen during the October 2002 storms. Remember the October 1987 storms? What a blunder!
Shimal Thakrar, London, UK

It is a sorry state of affairs when a person cannot traverse the capital of this country and is forced to seek refuge overnight, all due to adverse weather conditions. Severe I grant you, but still a foreseeable consequence of being on a planet with trees!
Tim, England

Were public transport networks in Europe as badly affected as ours?
David Pincott, UK

I even managed to watch as a neighbour's roof was folded back like a sardine can!

Brian Soane, UK
I live on an exposed part of the south Cornwall coast, just east of Penzance. The sea was 'ripping', and I even managed to watch as a neighbour's roof was folded back like a sardine can! What made it really special was the moon; it looked like a huge spot-light sweeping the ocean top.
Brian Soane, UK

Shouldn't the East Anglian electricity company 24Seven be prosecuted under the trade descriptions act?!
James Bailey, England

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Robert Hall
"Insurance claims are still flooding in"
Association of British Insurers' Malcolm Tarling
"We don't expect premiums to go up across the board as a result"
See also:

28 Oct 02 | Scotland
27 Oct 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | Business
28 Oct 02 | Business
28 Oct 02 | England
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