Twenty-seven years on: the storm we shall never forget

The ruins of GA Day's Timber Centre off Burrfields Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, and, below, a wrecked car in Kent Road, Southsea.
The ruins of GA Day's Timber Centre off Burrfields Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, and, below, a wrecked car in Kent Road, Southsea.

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After the blazing summer and drought of 1976 the next big weather event of the past half-century was what is now known as the Great Storm of 1987.

Of course, at the time, those of us who lived through that terrifying night, referred to it as a hurricane. Meteorologically it was not, but it sure as hell felt like one.

6930-2 The Great Storm -Scaffolding poles pierced this car in kent rd.'Agenda 16th Oct 1610 ENGPPP00120121015101543

6930-2 The Great Storm -Scaffolding poles pierced this car in kent rd.'Agenda 16th Oct 1610 ENGPPP00120121015101543

Today is the 27th anniversary of that night of chaos which changed the face of the south of England forever.

Forests, parks, roads and railways were strewn with fallen trees and the National Grid suffered heavy damage, leaving thousands without power for days.

At least 22 people were killed in England, the Channel Islands and northern France.

The Met Office classified the storm as a violent extratropical cyclone with some hurricane-force winds.

One gust of 122mph was recorded in Gorleston, Norfolk.