Storm no one will forget: Electrifying minute-by-minute account 30 years on relives the night when Britain lost 15 million trees, thousands of roofs... and all faith in Michael Fish
Gusts reached 135 miles an hour, sweeping England, the Channel Islands and northern France.
They took the lives of 22 people and lost more than £ 12 billion.
About 15 million trees have been cut down in southern England.
This is the worst storm in 300.
The forecasters failed to predict its severity.
In this graphic account, Jonathan Mayo rebuilt the events of that night every minute through the eyes of the people caught in it, who risked their lives to help emergency services --
Those people whose weather forecast caused ridicule
On October 15, 1987, in the Bay of Biscay, Spain, a dangerous storm was developing, caused by the collision of polar cold air from the North with tropical warm air from the south.
The storm began to move towards the UK. 1.
Forecasters Michael fish25 pmOn BBC1 started his prediction: \"apparently a woman called the BBC and said she heard of a hurricane on the road.
Well, don\'t worry if you\'re looking, no. . .
Five primary school students from around the world are on the last day of a geographic field trip at Chesil Beach, Dorset County.
Over the past few hours, the waves have gotten bigger and bigger, and the waves are constantly blown down as students measure on the beach.
In the West, there is a huge, dark cloud bank. 8.
At 30 in the evening, the night shift at London\'s High Holborn weather center began.
Senior forecasters Ian McCaskill looked at the data processed by Met Office computers a few hours ago, showing that there was an active but small low pressure on the English Channel, generating strong winds but not much else
Satellite images show only one leaf.
A cloud of shapes from the Atlantic Ocean.
No alarm required.
However, the work of the meteorological bureau is partially blind: The weather ship Romeo stationed in Biscay Bay has withdrawn from service because of operating costs, and the French meteorologist\'s strike means there is no weather report from northern Europe. 9.
The storm continues to move north-east.
Before it, there was rain in Wales and central and southern England.
October is not uncommon.
However, there are signs that something unusual is about to happen.
In Berkshire\'s reading, temperatures rose by eight degrees Celsius in less than half an hour.
People on the streets of London noticed that in just a few minutes, the wind would change by 180 degrees. 10.
35 pmThe Met Office revised its shipping forecast and warned ships of storm 10 winds.
But when people go to bed, there is no alarm on the radio or TV about the strong winds in the interior.
They don\'t know what\'s going to happen. 11.
The Channel Islands first felt the full power of the storm.
In Jersey, Linda Colby and her husband Brian are using the winches on their faulty truck to move the trees that block the road.
But as soon as they knew it, they heard another tree fall.
Linda is wearing her horse.
Helmet as protection.
Suddenly, the wind blew Linda and sent her to a tree 20 feet across the road.
She was shocked, but okay.
The helmet saved her life. 11.
Bill Giles, who posted the final weather forecast for the day on BBC1, said: \"It looks like most of the strong winds will be far away, although it will still be very relaxed through the Strait and the eastern part of the country.
Steve Woodward and Dave Brown in the middle of the South China Sea in Hampshire drive along the waterfront at the start of their shift.
Their Volvo patrol car was hit by a beach pebble blown by the wind.
A set of traffic lights is almost curved horizontally, with shops and car alarms on almost every street.
In wassin, West Sussex, parked cars are blown across the road by the wind, while light planes are turning over at Shoreham Airport.
The Seagulls were pierced on the fence and hit the wall.
The storm reached London on October 16.
At hornslow, Police Inspector Cathy Stewart looked out the bedroom window and saw a garden cottage flying in the air.
In the South China Sea, Steve and Dave are helping two elderly people get on the ambulance.
They were injured in the ruins in the nursing home.
PCs protect them from flying beach pebbles with their bodies, just like bullets from machines --
Steve later said: \"Gun \".
Along the coast of East Sussex, the 200 caravan of Peace Paradise RV park begins to shake in strong winds.
Grab the chain of the caravan one by one and snap.
They started rolling.
It was mostly empty, but it was Mahendra ganwal and his wife.
When their caravan rolls over and over again, they are sure they will die.
When it finally stopped rolling, Mahendra climbed out of the wreckage.
With the torch, he began to look for his wife in despair. 1.
Month amTrees is extremely fragile.
They are full of leaves and stand on wet land because there is a lot of rain in recent weeks.
Packed with holiday trains
Car makers traveling from Victoria station to Gatwick Airport have braked inside the tunnel.
The train hit a tree stuck under the wheel.
The train fell into darkness after a power outage.
Passengers heard the wind whistling through the tunnel entrance.
Police arrive at the Peace Harbor RV Park.
They were shocked to see heavy gas tanks and garden furniture flying in the air.
Mahendra finally found his wife.
When their RV started rolling, she was thrown out.
Of the 200 caravans on site, only one survived. 1.
The weather service sent a message to the Department of Defense warning that the weather is so bad that it may require the military to help the public. 1.
The dramatic night of AmSteve and Dave in the South China Sea is not over yet.
When a woman screamed, they stood outside the police station.
The computer looked up and saw a huge hole in the roof of the house opposite.
When Steve and Dave sprinted towards the house, the tiles on the roof crashed around them.
With the sound of crazy help, they ran up the stairs and lit the torch into the bedroom.
The roof and floor are gone.
The cloud flies overhead.
Hanging on the windowsill, in pajamas, was a man and a woman who had been looking out of the window when the chimney fell off the roof and hit the basement.
Meanwhile, a diesel train has arrived to help passengers stranded on the Gatwick train.
It managed to get the train through the tunnel, but then it also hit a tree on the track.
The guards told the passengers that they had to drop their luggage and walk along the track to Mussen station near Surrey.
For half a mile, when the trees fell around them, they went through the storm.
Amin Nanhai, Steve and Dave plan to rescue the couple hanging on the windowsill.
There is a hole at the foot of the woman, where there used to be a beam.
The police found a wooden board in the ruins downstairs and pushed it into the gaps and holes.
Under the light of the torch, the frightened woman crossed the board.
Then her husband climbed to a safe place.
Gatwick holiday passengers have arrived at Merson station, but it is too dangerous to wait inside when the window is smashed by the wind.
They all hid under the pedestrian bridge for rescue.
Six firefighters were answering an emergency call from Highcliffe, Dorset County, when a 20-
An oak tree fell on the cab of the fire truck, killing firefighters Ernest Gregory and Graham White.
Four people left in the car.
Several windows at the dome of St. Paul\'s Cathedral were broken and glass fell onto the marble floor.
The winding skier in Hyde Park is being lifted out of the water and hung on a tree.
At Croydon, 40 miles from the sea, Salt covers the windshield and windows.
London taxi driver Ryan Charles is driving in the West End of London.
Stop from seven o\'clock P. M. the night before.
As he drove past the Cambridge theater, a scaffold column fell from the building to the road, and he was gone.
Ryan shook and returned to his wife and children.
As the trees fell on the wires across the south-east, the alarm in the control room of the central power generation commission in southern London began to ring.
The State Grid is overheating.
In order to save the substation, the engineers made a difficult decision to deliberately cut off the power.
Gradually, much of London and the southeast are in the dark.
Six miles off the coast of Eastbourne, instruments on the Royal Sovereign lighthouse are measuring winds of 10 miles an hour.
Gusts are stronger than that (
15 miles/hour is the highest record)
But this is the farthest instrument. 3.
15 am Pastor Harry Fuld and his wife lie at the home of sarimero.
The sound of the wind reminded him of the wartime noise of the German bomber.
Suddenly, the attic collapsed on it.
His wife was trapped under the beam and Harry fell all the way into a hole and landed next to the phone. He dials 999.
The roaring winds have awakened John Banks, an amateur weather forecasters in cravinen, north Essex.
In the South, he can see the blue light shining in the sky, which he thinks is lightning.
In fact, it is a large substation short-circuited by Pelham.
In the nearby Quendon Wood, an old tramp named Dick Barrett climbed out of the tent and found that he had a narrow escape path --
He fell two sides. 3.
AmBrian Robbins and his wife are in the kitchen in London.
They could hear the sound of the roof slab falling outside.
Candles light up the kitchen.
Tom, the old son, appeared at the door.
\"Whose birthday is today? ’ he asks.
At the weather center in London, Ian MacAskill listened to the wind noise outside the building.
He never heard such a thing.
He later said, we didn\'t go outside to check it, the idea of the 19 th
The century Welsh slate flying from the roof brought our minds together.
Stone, Kent, Sealink.
The cross-Strait ferry sailed out of the berth.
Captain Sid Bridgewater ordered her to leave the port, but Hengster\'s engine failed and she was in the dark.
Captain and his 22-
The crew were helpless when the boat drifted to the sea.
The Sea Wall made a 10 by 8 hole in the water line on her hull.
Paul and Maggie Meredith are worried that the trees will fall around the house in brattu, Kent.
Paul walked into the garden with the torch to check them out and decided to take Maggie and their three children to places where there were no trees in the garden.
While they were sitting in a duvet, a tall mountain tree was on top of the House --
Daughter Rebecca empty bed branches.
The phone at the house of Don Verton, the manager of the shoe store in Memphis, Surrey, rang.
Police told him that dozens of women\'s shoes were sucked out of his store and were flying across Epsom Street.
There was a robbery at the Union carpet store in Southampton.
In Brixton, south London, the thief has cleared all the inventory of a radio rental shop.
A tree crashed in a butterfly house at Sean Park in Brentford, west London.
Thousands of tropical butterflies fled into the storm, but few survived in the cold wind for more than an hour.
Two rare South African butterflies achieve this by eating rotten fruit in the garden, which puts them in a drunken coma.
Drunk lepidopkid was found later that day. 4.
15 am on a hill in South donskleton, sparks fly like a comet in the air.
The windmill is on fire.
Even though the brakes have started, its sail turns faster than ever before.
Friction in the machine causes sparks that burn through the wood side of the mill.
Simon Porter, one of the volunteers who recently repaired the windmill, is desperately trying to get to the top of the mountain, but the wind is too windy and he can only crawl on his limbs.
A large piece of white wood in the mill fell beside him.
Simon finally managed to enter the building full of smoke.
The mill reopened after nine.
Year of recovery-
It is impossible for him to burn it. 4.
30 amWeatherman Michael Fish, who is working at the weather center in London, spent hours trying to support trees and fences in the garden.
Almost all of southeast England now has no electricity.
From Hampshire to London to Suffolk.
AmEssex Fire and Rescue Service personnel received a call from the central control room.
The situation in the county was considered too dangerous and all the crew were ordered to return to the base.
The cross boat was shattered by 90 miles an hour of wind, slowly pushing toward the rocks, but resting on the beach.
Rescue her 22-The crew started.
After measuring 99 miles/hour, Gatwick Airport is closed.
The control tower is shaking.
For three consecutive hours, 80 miles of wind were recorded.
Many speed meters
For measuring wind speed-
It is operated by electricity, so when the power starts to fail, important measurements are lost.
In Farnum, Surrey, the end of the bungalow was blown away.
The old lady inside was warned by a neighbor that there was no wall on the other side of her wallpaper.
A rope in a floating detention center in Harwich, Essex
Earl William\'s former Hailin Motor Ferry
Snap and the ship with 78 shelters.
Seekers drift in the port.
The frightened little crew put her two anchors down, but the wind was too windy, and Earl William drifted to rest on the sand. 5.
30 Amon, Simon and two friends of Nantas desperately wanted to put out the fire in the mill.
They are carrying buckets to the mountain and throwing them on burning wood.
They were worried that one of the sails would break and hit them.
Finally, they put out the fire and managed to stop the sail from turning.
In the southeast, the wind began to fall, although in Lincoln County they have now reached the intensity of the strong winds.
When it becomes lighter, the full extent of the damage becomes clear.
At the Seven Oaks cricket ground in Kent, six of the Seven Oaks named for the town were razed to the ground.
The town was soon dubbed Oneoak.
In Canterbury, a sevenyear-
A tree fell on the cage and an old leopard named Xiang escaped from the Howlet Wildlife Park.
The police warned that the item was dangerous.
In Rye, East Sussex, the fence around a wild boar field has collapsed.
Boars are free now.
Near Harwich, another ferry called St Nicholas, with 650 passengers, finally managed to enter the port after nine hours of violent sea. 7.
Nicholas wedcher is reading the breakfast TV news: The advice from the tourism services department is that you should stay at home and you should not try to go to work if such a journey is long.
The BBC is unable to use the regular news studio of Shepherd\'s Bush Lime because it has no electricity, so he is broadcasting in the children\'s TV studio in the nearby TV Center, powerful
Children\'s paintings, usually used to decorate the set, were taken down in a hurry. 8amThe day-
The shift work at the weather center in London has not yet entered the city, so forecasters Ian MacAskill and his team continue to work.
Rescue agencies that cleared the road between Petersfield and Chichester in West Sussex made grim discoveries.
A driver was killed in his car by a big tree. 8.
It\'s Amanda Terry\'s sixth birthday.
Her father Peter drove her to Loughton in Essex.
He had to stop constantly in order to move the fallen branch.
Amanda wants to go to school and share her birthday cake with her classmates.
They stopped at the school gate and saw a notice that the school was closed.
About half today. a-
Millions of children will have one day off.
The amComputers and telephone exchanges of the London Stock Exchange have stopped operating, so trading has been suspended for the first time since the devaluation crisis in 1974.
Across the Southeast, hundreds of farmers had to milk with their hands.
Police officer Mick drachford is walking home at Fort Alderford on the Suffolk coast.
Everything seemed to be fine until he looked at his garden.
His greenhouse is gone.
Mick found it on the main street 200 yards away.
Police are patrolling the beach in Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
Most of the pier was destroyed and whisky bottles and rides filled with money were washed ashore.
10 am Gardener Ray Townsend rides his bike through Richmond Park in west London on his way to work in Kiyu garden.
He was in shock when he passed hundreds of fallen trees.
He was rejected when Ray arrived at Kew because no one could enter-
Too many trees are unstable.
Army helicopters are flying over Kent and Sussex to help determine which wires are cut off.
The public is warned not to be close to cables that may be charged.
At the southern end of Essex, brave windsurfers have gone out to sea to try to ride at 70 miles an hour. 11.
Thirty amRay Townsend were finally allowed into the Kew Garden.
More than 1,000 trees have been destroyed.
Half lost forever.
Ray walked around in shock.
It\'s like your worst nightmare.
I remember seeing trees for many years. . .
He later said, like an old friend.
This is the worst disaster since the opening of 1759.
A ship called the flushing mountains drifted off the Spanish coast.
She was taken to Taiwan to scrap, but the tug was broken.
On March 6, 1987, in the name of the free enterprise Herald, she capsized near Zeebrugge, killing 193 passengers and crew members.
The waves are as high as 22 feet, so the salvors think it is too dangerous to salvage again. Connect the trailer.
The Flushing Range will be free to drift for three days before she continues to sail.
At noon in London\'s Old Belley city, there was only one court operating because many barristers, lawyers and staff were unable to enter London.
Good news on the London Stock Exchangeafter a three-
An hour later, the computer and telephone switch began to work again.
The electricity commission has called on maintenance teams far away in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help repair damage to power lines.
The South East power Council was told that the royal gurgurka rifle, equipped with a Kukri combat knife, could help clean up the fallen trees.
Forecasters Michael Fish told reporters and defended his predictions.
He claims this is correct: \"The lady is from Wales, there is no wind there, it is a deep depression, not a hurricane --so I was right.
The storm moved to the North Sea.
It\'s officially over.
18 people died and 15 million trees were lost.
This is the worst natural disaster in Britain since the 1703 storm.
There are only three words in the Met Office record book in October 16: \"Big Storm \".
France also suffered.
4 people were killed, 650,000 without electricity, and the trees in Brittany have been lost.
British Home Secretary Douglas Hurd is hosting an emergency meeting of the Cabinet civil emergency department.
He described the storm as \"the worst and most common night of disaster in southeast England in the 19 th century \".
Woolworth staff in Surrey hasselmere have fixed torches under their headscarves to help them move around the dark shops.
While many businesses have suffered losses, Woolworth\'s headquarters today reported that the chain has sold 50,000 candles and 25,000 brooms. 1.
10 pm in the BBC News at 1: 00, Michael Booke interviewed an exhausted, scabs-covered Ian McCaskill: \"Well, Ian, you guys last night. .