Storm Arwen in Sunderland: Mum's shock as wall of her Hendon home collapses

A mum has spoken of her shock after strong winds created by Storm Arwen caused the outer wall of her home to collapse.

Sunday, 28th November 2021, 4:09 pm

Sunderland has been battling wild gusts and icy weather as Storm Arwen hit the city this weekend, causing travel disruption, property damage and the cancelling of events across Wearside.

A mum-of-three has described the moment the strong gusts caused the outer wall on her house to collapse.

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Claire has described hearing a loud bang early in the morning.

Claire LePaul, who lives in Hendon, was feeding her 21-week-old daughter Olivia when she heard a loud bang at around 3am on Saturday (November 28).

Claire, 27, said: "The windows were rattling, so that obviously builds up the anxiety in a person. I was feeding my little girl and I heard a massive bang.

"I thought my four-year-old had fallen out of bed. I got my husband to go and check him – it wasn’t him.”

Claire’s husband Ian then went outside to check if part of the roof had fallen of, but saw that bricks from the outer wall of the house had collapsed.

The strong winds cause the outer wall of the house to collapse.

Claire said she rushed to move Daniel, 4 and 15-month-old Kaleb downstairs.

"Half of my house was on the floor,” said Claire.

"I brought the kids downstairs.

"It was quite scary, knowing that the rest of my house could potentially fall in.”

Claire has said that repairs are expected to start early next week.

She continued: "It was quite scary, especially with three children in the house that are quite young.

"I was scared it could fall in on them.

"My four-year-old was a little bit shaken and was asking what was going on, but he was alright, he wasn’t scared.”

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Claire has said that that the area where the bricks had collapsed was cordoned off on Saturday evening and repairs on the house are due to start early next week.

She said: "I’m just glad it was three o’clock in the morning and there was no one walking past, because if someone was walking past it would’ve crushed them.”

Claire, who is originally from London, but moved to Sunderland 10 years ago, added: “I’ve never seen a storm in Sunderland that’s that bad.

"Clearly Storm Arwen is an angry person.”

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