Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cleaning up after the Storm

I wrote a couple of days ago about the major storm that swept over the UK and on into continental Europe on the night of October 27th. This event was far less destructive than the one in 1987 to which it was being compared beforehand. Around beautiful Ruislip a few trees are down, including one crushing a few cars parked on a dealer's forecourt in Eastcote and a couple blocking paths through the Highgrove Woods which I strolled through yesterday. But the tree damage is mostly branches which are strewn around the parks (and one dangling into my front lawn). There was no significant flooding, despite a rainfall peak of nearly 20mm an hour on Monday morning (Thanks to Peter Bartlett's excellent local weather site for this info), although local commuters wishing to keep their feet dry were advised to avoid the streets around South Ruislip station.

There were, sadly, some fatalities. One man was killed in Watford by a falling tree on his car and a couple died in Hounslow in a gas explosion caused by wind damage. Ruislip is pretty well mid way between those places. It seems strange that, when most of the attention to windspeed was centred on the coasts, the most dangerous area to be in was right here in Middlesex.

The immediate response on Twitter was a series of photographs taking the mickey out of the forecasters - dustbins or garden gnomes on their sides with the caption "We will Rebuild" are fairly typical - but compared to 1987 the forecasters did a brilliant job. Several days in advance, they identified the storm, predicted its arrival times and track, and enabled transport operators and local authorities to be properly prepared.

No comments:

Post a Comment