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'All We Can Do Is Hold On To The Memories'

Credit: Evie Perchard/Facebook

Two weeks on from losing their home of 54 years in the tornado, Evie and Tony Perchard have been reflecting on surviving Storm Ciaran.

Jersey continues to pick up the pieces from Storm Ciaran, a fortnight after it battered the island.

Contractors are working at full capacity as demand for home repairs skyrocketed in the aftermath of the storm.

The government waived licence rules to allow businesses from outside the island to come and assist local firms with emergency repairs for up to 30 days.

Many homes were badly damaged after the worst tornado in Britain since the 1950s ripped through eastern parishes, ripping off roofs, picking up cars and throwing debris everywhere.

Evie and her husband Tony Perchard had hunkered down in their bedroom in Fliquet in anticipation of the storm.

Evie & Tony Perchard

But Evie says nothing had prepared them for what would happen overnight.

"We had survived the 1987 storm in the same bedroom so thought we would be fine.

Around midnight we heard a cracking noise, we felt air hit us, a very loud bang and then the roof of our bedroom whisked up, throwing Tony onto the floor and cutting out the electricity.

I clambered around the rubble to try and get him out from where he was trapped. I couldn't, he was bleeding profusely, so I ran across the road in my blood-soaked nightie with blood pouring from my head."

Evie and Tony's bedroom after the storm

Tony told us what it was like being trapped.

"I couldn't look up for a second, but when I did the roof had gone. I was struggling to get out and then our neighbours came and got me out.

I didn't realise how bad I was to be truthful. The paramedics and firemen came into the house and got me out.

I had to have 11 stitches in my head, from which I'm still recovering from."

Evie was discharged from the hospital the same night, while Tony stayed there a further two days.

However, for Tony the impacts of the injuries he sustained will last for some time.

"I'm waiting for a knee replacement, which has now been delayed because my body is full of bruises.

Until they go, I can't get that done. I also had a triple heart bypass a year ago and have since had my chest opened two more times, so that's still healing.

All these things have caused delays to my knee replacement, and I'm just getting fed up now."

Damage to Evie and Tony's bedroom

The pair are still living in a hotel while they wait for a new flat in Trinity.

Evie says their home, along with their neighbours, will have to be demolished because of the damage caused.

"We have since been told by the TORRO research officer that our bedroom took the full impact of the tornado, with winds of up to 180mph.

Our house, which we have lived in for 54 years will never be the same again. I will miss it.

I am a hoarder and had many pictures of my children and grandchildren and they're all gone, I'll never get them back.

I will miss the heron that flies past our window every morning. I'll miss sitting up in bed and seeing the homes in France.

It's not the material things, it's the little things that I know we aren't going to get back and all we can do is hold on to the memories."

TORRO, the UK's tornado watch organisation, came to inspect the track of the tornado and have given it a preliminary intensity rating of T6.

That's classed as a 'moderately devastating tornado'.

The husband and wife have praised the support of the government in the aftermath of the storm.

"They couldn't do more for us if they tried. The government had a support group here of around six people for a week.

They have paid for us to have bed, breakfast and meals for the first ten days, and help is still being offered all the time."

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