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"St Judes" storm brings down power lines and trees in Bures.

Electricity disruption for days.
Trees toppled like matchsticks.

Storm hits Southern England
Four people were killed as violent hurricane-force gales rampaged across Britain on Monday 28th Oct, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power and millions of rail commuters stranded.
Gusting at nearly 100mph, the storm uprooted or ripped apart hundreds of trees and flung them onto train tracks, roads and electricity lines, causing chaos throughout southern England.
Rail operators halted nearly every service from the Home Counties into London during the morning rush hour, blaming the need to clear debris from the lines.

The UK Met Office predicted this storm many days in advance, as they watched it speed towards the UK from the USA Eastern seaboard
The St Jude’s Day storm, named after the patron saint of lost causes, was the worst gale to hit the UK in more than a decade.



How did it effect Bures ?
It was forecast to hit East Anglia during the early hours of Sunday morning but by 7.00am nothing had occurred apart from light winds and rain, nothing out of the ordinary.

By 0800 the winds increased slightly with 100 % cloud coverage and still raining. However by approximately by 0830 the clouds gave way to a clear blue sky, although there were storm clouds approaching many miles away from the west.

Within minutes a magnificent rainbow appeared with a 180deg arc filling the sky.
This seemed rather odd, as there was a clear blue sky with no rain or clouds.

A few moments later the wind speed increased rapidly to such an extent trees were ripped of their leaves and seemed to be bending at a precarious angle.

This carried on for about 30mins, when a weather front/cloud base approached from the west which gradually phased out the rainbow as it passed overhead.

At this time the winds subsided to a very low level.
The destruction in that 30 minutes was massive, as the weather front tore through the village,

According to Power Networks ( the UK overhead power distribution company) we were one of the worst hit for cable damage caused by falling trees


Electricity Supply
The entire community lost their supply during the storm on Monday between 0830 and 0900hrs due to falling trees bringing down wires and even poles.
The supply was gradually restored from Wednesday afternoon with the remaining by late Thursday evening.

Power Networks drafted in engineers from all over the UK to assist in the restoration work in East Anglia.
By Monday evening a team of engineers had driven down from Stoke on Trent to specifically deal with the massive problems in Bures.
They worked each day installing new poles, clearing tree debris and then restoring the power lines which had broken
From Monday they worked non stop every evening until 2300hrs, then returning early the next day to continue the relentless work of trying to restore power.


Sadly, from my own observations a minority of local residents were very hostile towards the engineers, demanding priority that their supply should be reconnected immediately.
A sad reflection of the community, from those who seemed to have no understanding of the work involved.

However if you look at the album you will see first hand the devastation caused by the wind.

I think the last part of the village to be restored was Cuckoo Hill, Friends Field and the High Street. This delay, according to Power Networks was because the power lines feeding this section was the subject of 5 individual tree damage faults.

Power Networks should be given credit in drafting in a dedicated team from Stoke, in order to restore the Bures supply as quickly as possible.

Aftermath
Saturday, five days after the storm you can hear the relentless drone of chain saws still clearing tree debris


Photographic Album Part 1
(Clicket Hill, Sudbury Rd, Colchester Rd areas)
Photographic Album Part 2
(Millennium Bridge and along the Stour)

Images by Alan Beales
02/11/2013