The storms of December 2011

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Our original report of the storm on 4th December was optimistic. Many islanders were still suffering the effects of this storm when the island was battered by winds of up to 264 km/h (165mph) on Thursday 8th December.

Different parts of the island were affected differently so we are trying to construct a timeline of what has happened.

Please email us to let us know how you have been affected. In particular, we would like information from Achinduin, Kilcheran, Lorn View and Port Ramsay

If you have photographs of the effects of the storm, please send them to us.

We would also like to start a page about surviving a power cut with tips and ideas. So, if you have any, please email them to us.

Pauline Dowling supplied the following on 7th January 2012

The loss of power on Thursday 8 December for up to five days was the worst result of the first serious storm of the winter. For those with small children, the elderly, or the medically vulnerable, the lack of power was quickly compounded by a loss of water in cases where it had to be pumped into the house and, for all, concern about the contents of freezers. In the struggle to keep warm, fed, and watered it was not helpful to hear only sporadic recordings on the Scottish Hydro emergency number which offered little hard information. However finally, after one young pregnant mother with three small children suggested the struggle could be alleviated somewhat by evacuation, the Hydro offered alternative accommodation on the mainland. While not everyone was keen or even able to leave hearth, home and animals for the warmth of a mainland hotel, some took advantage of the ferry from Achnacroich on Saturday evening. Unfortunately only those with non electric phones were able to be contacted and then only an hour before the ferry was due to leave. It was not until Sunday, by which time many islanders were feeling very low priority, that a squad of Hydro vans arrived to inspect the various transformers while a helicopter looked for damaged lines and poles. Beside this, other storm damage such as lost tiles, no mobile signals, trees down, roofs ripped off, a caravan wrapped round a pole, and demolished green houses, seemed relatively insignificant. But only relatively.

The shop was very busy first thing on Friday with candles and batteries selling well and David Wilson did a great job under very trying conditions in a busy, dark shop. For the school and the nearby school house the loss was compounded when they also lost their water which meant the children ended up at one point having lessons at the museum. While a few houses at the north end had their power restored on Saturday 10 the majority had to wait until mid morning on Monday 12th December.

The island has also suffered two lightning strikes recently on 4 and 13 December both of which have meant a loss of power and for some unlucky people days without phones and broadband.

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