Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

14:49

Council bosses met with key players apart of the Beach Management Plan (BMP) to discuss coastal flood and erosion options for Sidmouth.

Read more
14:11

Plans for new property on small site met with objections

Read more
10:50

Warnings of a potential nature and wildlife ‘catastrophe’ have prompted a motion calling for Devon County Council (DCC) to take action ‘before it is too late’.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:20

Call for businesses, groups and organisations to make their voices heard

Read more
Yesterday, 12:37

A special party was thrown by a charity to mark the 90th birthdays of a trio of ladies, who have all survived cancer.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:13

Authority sheds light on why controversial application was refused

Read more
Yesterday, 07:37

Sidmouth Town Band members can blow their own trumpets, cornets, horns and trombones after securing a top-five finish at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

Read more
Tue, 18:35

Planning chief details landscape, wildlife and traffic concerns.

Read more
Tue, 16:30

Britain’s oldest civic society has donated £14,500 to Sidmouth’s weather-worn parish church for essential masonry repairs.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications