The hurricane force winds gusting at up to 110mph – the worst since 1703 – which left a trail of devas-tation across southern England ear-ly Friday morning, left computer companies in its path relatively unscathed. While DEC was left be-moaning the annihilation of all the flowerbeds at DEC Park in Reading, ICL reported the worst damage, with the roof blown off a new building going up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Exposed ICL House on the Thames at Putney Bridge needed the attention of glaziers for 10 windows in ICL House and a large sheet of plate glass at Bridge House. But although the south coast took some of the worst of the weather, IBM at Portsmouth, and ABS Computers at Brighton, were unscathed.worst of the storm, reported no Total loss of electricity in the south-east as power stations were switched out to protect the national grid caused havoc with sensitive computer systems unprotected by emergency power supplies, and trading was suspended on the London Stock Exchange after brokers who made it in found their screens blank. Pow-er in London, where winds up to 94mph were recorded at the height of the storm, had power restored in most places by 9am, but Norsk Dat-a’s manor in Newbury, Berkshire was still in the dark at lunchtime; Unisys too was powerless in Stone-bridge Park on the outskirts of London. British Telecom’s Telecom Gold electronic mail computers were out of action, and elsewhere fallen trees – six of the seven oaks that gave the Kent town its name were victims of the storm – and tumbling chimney stacks made travel hazardous and offices were thinly manned.
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