The Village responds!
Storm Dudley was the first to hit the village on the 16th; since then the response of the Emergency planning Team and neighbours has been brilliant and the village should be proud.
We had trees down across Station Road and Wangford Road and more than 500 houses were without power for 3 hours. Although the roads were cleared fairly quickly the debris was piled up blocking the pavements but that was cleared by volunteers around lunchtime on Thursday.
On Friday Storm Eunice struck with power cuts across the village. Most had power restored fairly quickly but Briscoe Way was out for more than three hours. At 7.30pm 32 properties were still without power in Mayfields and it was clear that it would be after midnight before it would be restored. Two elderly couples had contacted the Emergency Planning team. Discussions with UK Power Networks made it clear that was going to be well into Saturday before power was restored.
A number of residents moved out to stay with families and friends and some checked in to nearby hotels. Some managed to get hold of generators themselves. The Emergency Planning team provided hot water in flasks, hot water bottles and even some basic shopping; they also assisted two particularly vulnerable residents with medical issues, liaising with NHS 111 and UKPOWER Vulnerable Care department. UKPOWER changed their estimate for power to be restored by late on Sunday.
The engineers on site organised a Food Supply Welfare Vehicle to come to the area and this arrived at 12.45pm on Sunday providing hot drinks, hot food and phone charging. Around then specialist equipment started cutting up the large tree in Wingfield Road which had brought down the cables.
Further power failures followed and about three quarters of the village was without power between 6pm and 11pm.
Throughout the incident the Emergency Planning Team has kept in touch with the West Suffolk Emergency Planning Officer and others, and options for Rest Centres or even placing residents in hotels were considered should it become necessary.
Happily Storms Franklin and Gladys have passed us by, but we still need to be aware that there will inevitably be more and we do need to be prepared – make sure torches and phones are charged and available, keep a flask of hot water topped up and make sure you have plenty of warm clothing. If it does go wrong remember the important numbers:
Life threatening emergencies – ALWAYS call 999
Reporting power failure 105
If you need help or know of a neighbour in trouble, call one of the numbers on the back page of your Lakenheath Times.