This storm hit southern Britain on the evening of October 16, 1987. Although not quite hurricane force, wind speeds in excess of 70 mph were recorded, with gusts of over 100 mph. Over 15 million trees were uprooted, most major and minor roads and railways were blocked, electricity and telecommunications wires were blown down and a cross-channel ferry was blown aground. Fortunately the storm hit in the middle of the night so there were only 16 fatalities and the clean-up bill came to several billion pounds.

My own personal memory of this is waking up in the middle of the night. My bedroom window looked south across London and normally at night the entire sky was lit up with an orange glow from London's street lights. The night of the storm, however, London was completely and utterly blacked out -- I think that nearly every electricity supply in southern England had been cut off. I also recall seeing a light motorcycle being blown along the street, and the next day the roads were so blocked that I couldn't get in to school. Yay!

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