On 18th February, Storm Eunice was rampant throughout the entirety of the UK, with wind speeds reaching up to 122 mph in exposed areas of the Isle of Wight, and a Met Office amber warning announced, confirming that the storm was a danger to life. Although such events often do not hit as close to home for Londoners, this time the Met Office even announced a “red” storm warning in the capital. This of course caused immense distress to residents across London, including the Richmond Borough. 


Characteristic of London’s leafy suburbs, Hampton has many mature London plane trees lining its streets. Wind speeds were so great that three of these trees fell over, one being the largest plane tree on Station Approach, which is the road leading to the town shops. one tree fell directly onto a car, and all blocked the way of oncoming traffic in their collapse. Luckily, none fell onto or damaged any buildings, and no one was harmed.


Audrey MacKenzie witnessed the tree on Station Approach as it was ripped from its roots. She said that “It was terrifying. You would imagine a tree of that size to be equally strong, but it just proves how dangerous the conditions were”.


Trees were not the only things blown about: large panes of glass, bricks and even a child’s mattress were seen scattered across the roads. Litter was seen everywhere even for days after the storm, with 17-year-old local Nina Kramarz commenting that she “saw just heaps of rubbish on the ground, just on [her] way to school”. She said that: “It’s a shame to see this, as litter is not the first thing people think to get rid of after such an event, so in the long run no one will do anything about it”. 


This being said, Nina also commented that she found the storm “quite exciting to watch from the comfort of your home. It is not every day we see weather take such a great toll on our safety, and the winds and rain seen from my window were almost spectacular to watch”. 


Storm Eunice’s disruptive and ruinous exploits were clearly damaging to our local community, with the costly repairs still ongoing. In discussion with local residents, it is clear that the destruction caused was startling, especially due to the rarity of such an event.