Jersey's Storm Heroes Recognised

L-R: Paige Hassard, Amber O'Driscoll, Terry Gasnier, Rob & Paul Hickling, Harry Meacham, Tristen Dodd, Jack Findlay and Patrick Oakes O'Connor

Channel 103 has been recognising islanders who went above and beyond during and after Storm Ciaran brought devastation to Jersey.

The storm made landfall late on 1 November, bringing with it hurricane-force winds reaching speed in excess of 100mph.

A tornado also ripped through eastern parishes around midnight, destroying homes, businesses and cars in its way.

100s of trees were brought down during the storm.

Our first hero of the week, Harry Meacham, thought it was his duty to help clear those blocking roads around Grouville.

"Being, what I call a Grouvillian it was almost compulsive for me. I told myself 'okay get your rear end into gear' and get the saws and start clearing.

I wanted to make sure everyone was safe an emergency services could get through."

His sister Jessica nominated him and told us he went above and beyond.

"Harry was helping to clear trees for the parish of Grouville non-stop for three to four days.

(He was) constantly coming home wet and hungry but never with a frown on his face. A change of clothes and a pizza and off he went back and out again."

Harry Meacham

Day two of Storm Heroes saw a father and son duo Rob and Paul Hickling nominated by their neighbour Evie Perchard.

Evie's roof was ripped off as the tornado exited the island at Fliquet, burying her and her husband Tony under rubble.

After getting herself out, Evie attempted to dig Tony out but was unsuccessful, so ran to Rob and Paul's home across the road for help.

She told Peter Mac's Breakfast Show the pair are her 'forever heroes'.

"If they hadn't come to rescue Tony I think he would've bled out with the amount of blood he was losing.

We had no electricity and my mobile was covered in rubble so I had to means of dialling 999."

Evie and Tony Perchard

Paul says he only did what he could.

"We obviously got hit by the storm and were slightly stunned and the doorbell rang, I thought it was unlikely to be a delivery after midnight.

It turned out to be Evie she arrived covered in blood and asked us to help Tony out of the bedroom because he couldn't get down."

Rob Hickling and son Paul (L-R)

Three Jersey Water employees were recognised on Wednesday after they went beyond the call of duty.

Pat O'Connor, Terry Gasnier and Jack Findley worked throughout the night to make sure the island's water supply stayed connected throughout the storm.

Their colleague Abi Nance nominated the trio.

"It was no mean feat by any stretch. They had to sleep on the floor, they had various commutes between our treatment works.

In some instances, journeys that should take around 20 minutes took three hours because of trees blocking the road."

Jack Findlay, Terry Gasnier, Patrick Oakes O'Connor (L-R)

Tristen Dodd was the fourth storm hero to be recognised for his work at the Infrastructure Department.

His colleague Andy nominated him for dedicating himself round the clock for three days to manage the clear-up operation.

"There were many people deserving of the recognition, but from an Infrastructure perspective Tristen stood out."

Tristen says the island is still in the recovery phase.

"We're still trying to finish what we've started.  It was very humbling because everyone pulled together, and everyone was trying their best for the island.

Crisis often forces innovation, and that was to get some way of getting an interactive map that we could share with the emergency services.

It changed all the time, so we would say a route was clear and then another tree would fall down."

Tristen Dodd. Credit: GoJ/Instagram

Today marked the end of Channel 103's week-long celebration of Storm Heroes, with nurses Paige and Amber being nominated.

The duo decided to hunker down at the hospital after their shift at the Robin Ward.

Paige says the pair made that decision so that the ward wouldn't be understaffed in the morning if other nurses were unable to get in.

Paige Hassard and Amber O'Driscoll (L-R)

Each of the Storm Heroes received a £500 voucher donated by Sandpiper CI.

Channel 103’s Managing Director James Keen says the station has been 'overwhelmed' by the number of nominations.

"Whilst Storm Ciarán was the worst weather Jersey has seen for many years, it also brought out some of the best in our island spirit.

There were so many stories of people going above and beyond in extremely challenging circumstances and it was difficult to pick just five Storm Heroes – but each and every one deserves recognition; they’re a real credit to the resilience of Jersey.

We’re also especially grateful to our friends at Sandpiper CI for supporting this initiative so generously.”

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