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  1. ITV Report

30th anniversary of the Great Storm that battered the East

On 16 October 1987 hurricane-force winds battered the South East corner of England.

Gusts reached more than 100 miles an hour - destroying buildings, uprooting trees, plunging thousands of homes into darkness and killing 18 people.

In just a few hours, the worst storm for nearly three centuries, changed the landscape and left a trail of havoc and destruction in its wake.

Thirty years on the memories are as fresh as ever as.

  • Watch a report by ITV Anglia's Natalie Gray

The Met Office was heavily criticised in 1987 for failing to predict the severity of storm and provide advance warnings.

Forecasting technology was more primitive in 30 years ago, with fewer satellite images at a much lower resolution.

Computer forecast models of of the atmosphere was also not as detailed and because processing speeds were lower there were not run as often as they are now.

  • Watch a report by ITV Weather presenter Aisling Creevey who went to the Met Office HQ in Exeter to find out about modern forecasting methods

A lorry was flipped onto its side on the Orwell bridge at Ipswich.

A lorry was blown onto it's side on the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk. Credit: ITV Anglia

At Luton airport winds gusting up to 90 miles an hour flipped a plane onto its back .

A plane was flipped onto it's back at back at Luton Airport. Credit: ITV Anglia

Eighty per cent of Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge in Suffolk was completely flattened .

80% of Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk was flattened. Credit: ITV Anglia

It caused the equivalent of 15 years worth of power cuts - 750,000 people were plunged into darkness.

The army was drafted in to help repair the cables ... and 16 helicopters brought in to replace over a thousand electricity poles in one week .

The army was drafted in to help the clear-up. Credit: ITV Anglia

Eighteen people died but its thought the toll would have been much higher had the storm hit during the day.