Big storm: Children left scared by power outages in Melton while Ipswich man cooks by candlelight

Ellen's children were scared as darkness fell last night

Ellen's children were scared as darkness fell last night - Credit: Archant

A mum left without power or a phone line has told how her children’s excitement turned to fright last night as darkness drew in.

Jason Alexander, the wildlife gadgetman, was forced to cook by candlelight last night

Jason Alexander, the wildlife gadgetman, was forced to cook by candlelight last night - Credit: Archant

Ellen Widdup was home alone with her children, aged six and three, when the power went out at 9.20am yesterday morning during the peak of St Jude’s storm.

At first, the family saw it as an adventure, but after more than 24 hours without electric they are now eager for the power to be restored.

She said: “The children thought it was fun to begin with but then they didn’t like the candles and they had no TV to watch, and then my phone battery went completely dead.

“The phone lines were also down so we felt quite isolated.


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Ellen and her family returned home to Melton Park from a weekend in London on Sunday evening. Predicting the problems on the trains, her husband returned to the capital Sunday night to ensure he could get to work on Monday morning.

Ellen said: “My daughter is recoverign from an eye operation so we were home all alone, and it was scary because it was black everywhere. The street lights were out and there wasn’t really a moon last night, it was really dark.

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“We were all in bed by 7pm last night, we all slept in the bed together.”

She added: “Thankfully I have a gas hob so I am able to boil water on the stove for a cup of tea.”

This morning Ellen and her children visited a friend so they could shower and warm up before returning home. But with thousands of homes still without power, UK Power Networks are still unable to tell her when the electricity supply is likely to be restored.

“I know they are working hard,” she said. “But it is frustrating because we are not getting much information. I signed up for UK Power Networks text updates but all they say is ‘sorry for the delay’.”

Ellen added: “I thought I was being clever because I had all my shopping delivered the night before but most of it will be going off now. I have about £200-£300 worth of food in the fridge and freezer.”

In Ipswich, Jason Alexander was forced to cook by candlelight as UK Power Networks worked to repair faults last night.

How are you coping with the power outages? Email edmund.crosthwaite@archant.co.uk with your photos, video and stories.

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