Storm David wreaks havoc across north Essex with more than 70 trees torn down in high winds

The clean-up under way in Mersea Road, Colchester after a tree came down and hit a car at about 6am

The clean-up under way in Mersea Road, Colchester after a tree came down and hit a car at about 6am on January 18. Picture: LAUREN HOCKNEY - Credit: Archant

Trees were torn down, roofs were ripped from houses in Essex this morning as fierce winds battered the county sparking traffic chaos.

High winds tore down the roof of The Sheldrake pub in Jaywick. Picture: DANNY SLOGGETT

High winds tore down the roof of The Sheldrake pub in Jaywick. Picture: DANNY SLOGGETT - Credit: Archant

Storm David has left a trail of destruction across northern areas of Essex today with gusts of up to 80mph pulling down more than 70 trees.

At least 13,000 homes were without power this morning with a major clear-up operation underway on the county’s roads.

A Greater Anglia train between Sudbury and Marks Tey hit a tree shortly before 6am forcing the line to close.

No passengers were injured and the damaged train was taken to Colchester to be repaired.

A driver narrowly escaped injury when a tree hit their car in Mersea Road, Colchester. Picture: ESSE

A driver narrowly escaped injury when a tree hit their car in Mersea Road, Colchester. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Archant


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There were also a number of weather-related accidents and the M11 was closed between junction 8 and junction 9 after an HGV overturned in the high winds.

Adam Pipe, Casualty Reduction Manager at Essex Police, said from midnight to approximately 10am they had 85 calls reporting fallen trees.

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He added: “We had a busy morning. We didn’t attend all of those 85 calls, some of them were dealt with by highways.

“We also had 40 calls to general highways disruptions,with debris on the road rather than trees. And since 5am we attended 23 road traffic collisions.”

Fallen trees block route to Colchester North Station. Picture: MARTIN GOSS

Fallen trees block route to Colchester North Station. Picture: MARTIN GOSS - Credit: Archant

Essex Fire and Rescue Service dealt with around 50 weather related incidents between 4.30am and 9.30am.

A tree fell onto a car in Mersea Road, Colchester, at 6am, but the driver narrowly escaped injury, with witnesses saying the tree managed to bring down railings and ended up on top of the car with people still inside.

Elsewhere in the town, officers were sent to Mill Road after a trampoline blown by the strong winds ended up close by.

Fire crews were called to Swan Street, in Sible Hedingham, after a tree was brought down and took power cables with it.

A similar incident took place in Station Road, Felsted, with a small fire created.

Firefighters also dealt with a collapsed chimney in Clacton at around 8am – crews at the scene said it was no longer safe for the homeowners to stay inside and helped to make the scene safe.

Commuters using the A12 northbound towards Suffolk faced major tailbacks while a large number of road closures were put in place in Colchester and Clacton sparking delays.

‘It’s lucky no-one was hurt’ – Roof of Jaywick pub torn down and blown into street

Residents in a north Essex village woke to see the roof of their local pub strewn across the floor this morning.

Firefighters were called to Jaywick to help clear the remnants of The Sheldrake pub’s roof after it was pulled down in the wind.

The wreckage was blown into the street and was still being cleared in the afternoon by volunteers and pub staff.

Danny Sloggett captured a video of the damage. In his voice over, he said: “The whole roof came off.

“There it is – the mighty Sheldrake – and it’s all on the floor here.

“It’s lucky no-one was hurt.”

Representatives for the pub, in Meadow Way, have been approached for comment.

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