Storms wipe out power to 7,000 Oxfordshire homes

A tree came down on Julia Cox's Steeple Aston house

A tree came down on Julia Cox's Steeple Aston house

First published in News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by

MORE than 100 homes faced a third night without electricity last night after storm-force winds hit Oxfordshire.

Engineers were still trying to connect power to about 170 homes in rural parts of the county around Ducklington and Fulbrook in West Oxfordshire, and Steeple Aston, near Bicester.

Southern Electric Power Distribution said it was hoping to get most customers re-connected to the network by 10pm last night.

Power was cut to 7,000 homes after the storm struck on Friday night, when winds of 62mph were recorded at the RAF Benson weather station between 11pm and midnight.

Brize Norton saw gusts of 55mph as about 20mm of rain fell on the county.

SEPD spokesman Lee-Ann Fullerton said: “Access is still proving difficult in areas of flooding and where trees are blocking routes.

“We thank customers for their patience and understanding during what has been a difficult time.”

A van serving hot food and drink, with sterilising equipment for babies’ bottles, was visiting areas affected yesterday.

About 5,000 homes were still without power on Saturday night, 24 hours after the storm hit but no one in the county was reported to have been injured in the storm.

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Steeple Aston resident Julia Cox woke up at 2am after hearing a loud noise.

The 49-year-old antique dealer said: “It was so frightening, I didn’t know what was happening and I couldn’t see anything or turn the lights on because of the power cut.

“In the morning I went outside to find out a 100ft fir tree had fallen onto the roof of my house over my bedroom.”

Miss Cox said she was waiting for a tree surgeon to arrive to find out if the roof has been damaged.

Thames Valley Police were dealing with more than 150 reports of fallen trees on Saturday.

Oxfordshire County Council had dealt with more than 100 trees which had fallen overnight by 7am on Saturday.

Another fallen tree shut the M40 northbound for several hours between junction 6 at Watlington and junction 8a at Oxford on Saturday morning.

The storm also uprooted a large tree in Albert Park in Park Road, Abingdon, and firefighters were called to the old mill building in Arthur Street, West Oxford, on Saturday lunchtime after metal sheeting came loose.

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