Council to investigate after tree takes out power in Broadbridge Heath

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West Sussex County Council is to carry out an investigation after stormy weather pulled down a tree in Broadbridge Heath, leaving scores of residents without power.

More than 70 homes had their electricity cut off after strong winds and heavy rain brought down in tree in Warnham Road yesterday (July 31).

Power was out from 6.30am in the morning and lasted eight hours for most with all but two buildings back online by 2.30pm. Electricity was restored to all properties by 6.50pm.

Photos as tree uprooted in Broadbridge Heath

Keiron Palmer, who lives in the village, said he had been forced to go ‘back to basics’ after losing power for hours.

He said West Sussex County Council had been approached in 2016 to cut the tree back stating it ‘would have avoided the chaos’.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “We were sorry to hear of the inconvenience caused to local residents and road users. Unfortunately we were unable to prevent this latest incident and the recent high winds, downpours and a tree in full leaf could have been factors, along with the recent dry spell of weather.

“We will consider the history of this tree to understand whether there were any other contributory factors and our Arboriculturist will inspect the area as part of this investigation. We can reassure the road users and residents alike we do our best to reduce incidents such as this by carrying out routine inspections of our highways and trees.”

The Post Office confirmed it had also been affected by the outage.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Broadbridge Heath Post Office was unfortunately closed for the majority of yesterday due to the major power cut. Our customers had to use Caterways and Horsham branches. Power was restored late evening, and the branch is back open as normal today.”