/ Home & Energy, Travel & Leisure

Has the storm caused chaos for you?

Shed with roof off

As we braced ourselves for storms last night it was difficult to know if it was just a precautionary measure or a sign chaos would unravel. Judging by the news and travel traumas this morning, it seems to be the latter.

My morning was reminiscent of an episode of Chuckle Brothers, with a ‘to me, to you’ moment as we removed the missing half of our shed roof from the road. We then had to empty the shed’s contents into the garage amid fears of a downpour soaking its contents.

Blowing the roof off

When I was woken early by the gusts of wind I decided to take a peek to see if we’d endured any damage. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw half the shed roof missing (and nowhere to be seen).

My first fear was that it might have hit someone or someone else’s property. Relieved to find that wasn’t the case, I’m just pleased it caused no further damage. And compared to some of the damage being reported on the news, we certainly got off lightly.

Our house is only a few months old and we still technically live on a builders site. I’ll be having a word with the trades people on site to see whether anyone can repair and replace our missing roof. I’m hoping that, as we’re such early stages of moving in, they’ll realise our roof wasn’t secured properly – particularly as the rest of the road’s roofs appear to be intact. But if you’ve been seriously affected by the storms, you’re likely to need to claim on your insurance.

Train cancellations as trees block lines

While the structural disruption can cause big headaches, travel chaos may also be making your day rather challenging.

In the case of bad weather, Network Rail and the train companies have to agree that the weather is ‘exceptionally severe’. If other modes of transport have been badly affected, this is the conclusion they’ll most likely come to.

If the weather is deemed exception sever, the theory is that train companies don’t have to compensate you. However, many will be offering goodwill gestures, such as letting you use your train tickets the following day – as is the case with my local train company.

Have the storms affected you, your property or your plans today? We’re keen to hear from you and will point you to the relevant help and advice to get you through the day.


I had a pane of glass fall out of my conservatory. Not surprising as I’ve been saying the whole thing needs to come down and be replaced with something that isn’t freezing in winter and boiling in summer for over 5 years now.

As for claiming on insurance, that’s not really an option, as I’ve never managed to get insurance since putting in a claim for clay shrinkage subsidence, even though no under pinning was need.

This reminds me of 1987 when I was 2 or 3 years old. A tile got blown off our roof and I got scared. That was about it… as un-exciting this year, but I don’t think I was in the eye of the storm.

I slept right through this storm but lived through the 1987 hurricane strength winds. I was unable to go to work then as the travel system was in chaos. In 1987, I had to scrabble around collecting heavy plant pots and a few other things that had blown over and around, this time there is nothing to do. I don’t think the problems are as widespread this time but that is not going to stop the flood of insurance claims. People should be thankful that they were not injured and only claim if they or their property suffered damage.

One thing we cannot say this time round is “We didn’t se it coming”. There have been frequent warnings in the papers and on most news and weather bulletins. Indeed, in order not to be caught out, the authorities have probably overdosed the warnings – but predicting wind-strength is an inexact science because so many local factors can interfere with the path of the storm; this year, most of the trees are still in full leaf helping to break the force of the wind, but that also means they might be more vulnerable and cause more damage if they do get blown down. Luckily, overall, the storm was nowhere near as fierce as the hurricane in October 1987. Nevertheless, trees seem to have caused the most problems and led to tragic loss of life.

Travellers had been advised to reschedule their journeys and not try to go into work if that was an option. Schools are on half-term in our county so that has eased the situation. Network Rail had already decided on Sunday afternoon to close much of the railway on Monday morning, and the whole country was advised to batten down the hatches. I was surprised, therefore, to read about certain incidents that might have been prevented if sensible precautions had been taken, like a crane blowing over and scaffolding collapsing. Signs, flags, banners and other things that can behave like a sail and fly across the road or crash into people and buildings had also not been secured.

I would hope the builders replace your shed roof, Charlotte, as it had clearly failed to withstand a commonplace weather event. These storms appear to have been at force 9-10 [on the Beaufort scale] but with some stronger gusts and a well-made new garden shed in the UK should be able to stand up to that or else it is not fit for purpose.

judy says:
30 October 2013

In the North West we didn’t have a storm

I have a question and not sure where to post it;

I live in a 1930 mid terraced house. When it rains we can hear dripping in our redundant fireplace. We still have places where there’re vents.
Chimney pots are capped but still we hear dripping.
I’m told its normal coz we have the vents but it worries me and my wife.
There are no signs of dampness.
Please can someone advise?
Thank you