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Storm damage leaves 8,000 homes in Basingstoke without power
THE CLEAR-UP operation has begun this morning after violent gusts of wind and heavy rain lashed the borough.
The Christmas storm felled trees, caused power cuts, brought flooding and wreaked havoc for rail users trying to get home.
Power distributor Southern Electric said 8,000 homes in and around Basingstoke are without power.
Incidents reported included:
• A fallen tree and a gas leak closed the B3400 at Overton
• A tree fell on a car in Chineham, without injuring anyone
• Part of a roof fell from a house in Rooksdown and landed on a car, leading to the evacuation of the building
• South West Trains cancelled its services until 10am this morning to allow lines to be checked
• Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service received more than weather-related calls 400 calls throughout the night
In Basingstoke, firefighters were kept busy all night with calls, including responding to several automatic fire alarms that were triggered by the high winds.
They responded to flooding in Chilworth Way, Sherfield-on-Loddon, flooding in Bramley and trees that fell on houses in Black Dam.
Crew manager Graham Thomas said: “It was one of the busiest nights we have had for a long time.
“There were several trees down, roads blocked and damage to cars and property but fortunately nobody was injured.”
Homeowners are counting the cost of damage caused by the storm.
Clare Scotford, of Conifer Close, Baughurst, said a neighbour's tree fell through the glass roof of her conservatory.
She said: "We slept right through it.
"It came down through the roof. There is glass everywhere and a big pane has completely smashed.
"Nobody was hurt. It's not nice but it could have been a lot worse."
Southern Electric said repairs will continue throughout the day to bring power back to 8,000 homes in Basingstoke.
It added that efforts were being hampered by trees blocking roads.
Rail commuters had to complete their journeys by bus or taxi after South West Trains cancelled its services through Basingstoke from 11pm last night.
The operator said more than 40 trees fell, including near Hook, and there were six areas of flooding on its network.
Restrictions on tickets have been lifted today for when trains resume at 10am.
A spokesman said: “The past 24 hours have been very difficult for our customers and we are sorry they have faced significant disruption.
“It has also been a tough time for our employees across the network who have been working extremely hard in difficult conditions to keep trains running and to make sure arrangements were made for passengers whose journeys have been disrupted.”
Hampshire County Council warned the clean-up operation could take days, with more bad weather scheduled for Friday.
Councillor Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: "Staff have responded very well indeed, swinging into action in these very difficult conditions with our partner agencies to deal with flooded roads and fallen trees and I commend their efforts."
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