Update from Thurrock Council
AT approximately 6.30am on Tuesday (31 March), high-winds caused a large chimney stack to detach itself from the roof of an upper maisonette at Derwent Parade in South Ockendon.
This led to damage to a large section of the roof. At least eight homes were affected, along with several ground-level shops.
Eight families were affected and most found alternative accommodation with family and friends while two were catered for at a rest centre in the nearby Culver Centre.
Thurrock Council has found temporary accommodation for those two families.
Council staff were on site very quickly and structural engineers are at Derwent Parade waiting until it is safe to examine the roof to discover when repairs will be possible and how long they will take.
Staff from the council’s emergency planning team opened the rest centre at 7am and have provided hot and cold drinks as well as sandwiches and other refreshments to a dozen adults and eight children.
For safety reasons Derwent Parade has been closed off by Essex Police.
A further statement will follow later.
Update: 1030 hrs
Crews have now left the scene. They used the aerial ladder platform to inspect the roof but took no further action. the scene has been lefty in the hands of structural engineers.
FIRE CREWS have evacuated a block of six flats above shops in Daiglen Drive in South Ockendon after high winds removed more than half the roof.
The incident commander reports that 50% of the roof, including some chimney stacks, have been removed in the wind.
Crews are making the scene safe and standing by awaiting the arrival of structural engineers to assess the building.
They have also been working with Essex Police to re home the 14 residents who are unable to return to their flats.
No one is believed to have been badly hurt as a result of this incident.