Phone lines still down after lightning strike

10:32 14 January 2013

Stephen and Stella Huyshe-Shires by their Christmas trees and the telegraph pole they think was struck by lightning

Stephen and Stella Huyshe-Shires by their Christmas trees and the telegraph pole they think was struck by lightning

Archant

Sidbury residents are still living “in the dark ages” three weeks after a lightning strike knocked out the phone line.

The storm surge in Roncombe Valley caused electricity to arc between phone and power lines, circuits to be burnt together and communications equipment in homes irreparably damaged.

The occupants of historic house Sand were selling one of the Christmas trees they grow to a father and his two children when the bolt struck.

Stephen Huyshe-Shires said: “There was some hail, then a few rumbles of thunder – all of sudden there was a ball of light and an almighty bang.”

The lightning struck yards from the pines, which they donate to churches across the Sid Valley.

After finding that the power was still on, Stephen heard from a neighbour that the telephones had not fared so well.

“It had blown his phone sockets eight feet across the room,” said the 63-year-old.

“Suddenly we were back in the dark ages.”

A lack of mobile signal in the valley, combined with the damage to the phone and internet connections, meant that residents were cut off for much of Christmas.

Many of the 18 houses are still not back online, although BT engineers have been working around the clock for the last three weeks.

Stephen’s wife Stella, 62, said: “They were out there the next day, and there have been three or four engineers every day since.”

Now retired, she volunteers for the charity Lyme Disease Action, answering correspondence via email, so she has had to take all her work to a friend’s in Sidford.

Cabling has had to be replaced all the way up the valley, but the full extent of the problem will not be clear until they can check their broadband.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Sidmouth Lifeboat's new tractor

The vital role of launching and recovering Sidmouth Lifeboat can continue with renewed vigour after the arrival of the crew’s new tractor.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:02
Baby Beaver.
Tom Buckley/Devon Wildlife Trust

Residents eager to find out more about the first baby beavers born on the River Otter are invited to attend a public meeting.

Read more
Wed, 16:33
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

A £500,000 budget has been proposed for the district council to provide dedicated gypsy sites across East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:29
Alan Durrant, chairman of Sid Vale Association, presents Dr Duncan Hall of the Beacon Medical Centre with a donation towards the planting of trees and shrubs around the grounds. Ref shs 9545-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth’s multimillion-pound medical centre has received a boost to its £16,000 project to improve the look of its car park.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Wood(bury) Stock 2015. Doctors Orders. Photo: Neil Ewins.

A successful blues, roots and folk music festival took place recently at Woodbury’s Malsters Arms.

Read more
Tue, 12:29
Branscombe Preschool achieved an 'outstanding' result from their latest Ofsted inspection. Ref shb 9478-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Ofsted has give staff at Branscombe Pre-school top marks for their “innovative and exciting programme” after their latest inspection.

Read more
Tue, 11:00
Devon County Council is planning to close Green Close Care Home to cut costs

Sidmouth’s Green Close is being offered for tender and could reopen as a care home, offer other social care – or be converted into housing.

Read more
Tue, 06:33
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

The welfare of an endangered bat population at East Devon District Council’s Knowle site could be in jeopardy if planned building works go ahead, say worried residents.

Read more
St Saviours

Hopes of creating a new community hub and premises for Ottery Library have been dashed as county councillors ‘dug in their feet’ over conditions.

Read more
Mon, 16:19

Police have issued the all-clear after suspicious packages found in Exeter city centre have been safely dealt with.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder