A clean up operation is underway following the effects of Storm Henk, where high winds caused damage across the borough.

Additional contractor crews are being drafted to help clear the fallen trees or where trees have lost branches and the like. In total, the council’s tree team and contractors were dealing with over 80 emergency incidents in the high winds, with this work continuing today.

Councillor Will Rowlands, Executive Councillor for Environment said, “The sheer ferocity of these winds caused significant damage right across the borough, including to private property. Our thoughts are with residents who are having to deal with difficult situations today that have affected their home in some way and of course with the lady who was injured when a tree fell in Orpington. Working into the night, we prioritised removing trees which blocked roads and pavements and the tidy-up work will continue today. In the days to come, our street cleaning crews will spend quite some time clearing smaller debris, such as the smaller twigs etc which will amount to tens of tonnes no doubt and is a major job.”

Councillor Rowlands added, “I would like to thank the crews who have braved the weather to clear fallen trees and keep the borough moving, along with all the residents who reported incidents to us. In these types of emergencies, we always ask people to report tree emergencies by phone so we can prioritise in live time and this helps. Whilst it is always sad to lose any tree, our Treemendous tree planting programme is continuing unabated, thereby ensuring our tree-lined streets for which our borough is renowned will continue for years to come.”

The high winds prompted the Met. Office to upgrade their weather warning forecast to amber, underlining the expected strength of the winds. Storm Henk follows other stormy high wind weather in recent days, meaning there have now been around 120 emergency incidents since Christmas.

Whilst the extreme high winds have eased, residents are still being reminded that they can still report ‘tree fall emergencies’ 24/7, with advice to call the council for emergency reports that need priority. Whereas most problems can be reported online, via the council’s website, which is usually the best reporting method, if there has been a tree emergency, where a tree is blocking a road or leaning precariously for instance, then residents and others are being asked to report this by calling the council on 0300 303 8658.

Many of the trees have fallen from private property, from nearby gardens, onto the road or pavement. In these instances, then the council has responded to the emergency at the time and will be in contact with the owner of the tree at a later date. If a council-owned tree has caused damage, it may be possible to make a claim, with details available on the council’s website.


Hayes (Kent) Village Association

The Association was founded in 1933 to protect the interests of residents and preserve the local amenities.

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