Gale force winds brought in by Storm Georgina caused chaos across Fenland this morning felling trees and cutting power supplies.
Parents were forced to find alternative methods of transport to get their children to school as some bus companies suspended services on safety grounds.
Among them was Fowlers Buses from Spalding and Grey’s of Ely who both posted on social media to say they would not be running buses this morning.
A spokesman for Fowlers said: “When the school buses were due to go out at 6.30am/7am this morning the winds were very bad and we took the decision that we didn’t want to risk sending the double deckers. We have had one or two abusive phone calls from parents moaning about having to find another way to get their children to school - but we would rather be safe than sorry.”
Grey’s said they would be reviewing the situation every minutes, while Fowlers said services should be back to normal this afternoon.
While road and rail commuters were also facing travel chaos. Train services were delayed while numerous roads across the district were left closed because of fallen trees.
Meanwhile at least one school has been forced to close due to now power or heating. Fridaybridge School will remain closed today for that reason, a notice was put on their website first thing this morning.
Police have been kept busy dealing with the dozens of fallen trees which led to the many road closures including the A47 at Guyhirn, which caused major tailbacks for commuters and Sutton Road at Tydd Gote. There was also an overturned lorry between March and Rings End.
The Kings Dyke railway crossing at Whittlesey was closed for two hours this morning because of the winds and so was the railway crossing on the Sixteen Foot at Stonea.
Hundreds of homes have been left without power in villages and towns as far afield as Wimblington, Leverington, Upwell, Chatteris and Wisbech. In fact UK Power Networks say 8,000 homes in Cambridgeshire are without power at 9.30am this morning (Thursday).
They say their engineers are working hard to restore power supplies in part of the East of England after winds of over 70mph damaged some overhead power lines.
Posting on their website UK Power Networks said: “We’re sorry to all customers affected and are working to restore supplies. Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can affect overhead power lines. We urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to us.”
In neighbouring Norfolk 23,300 homes are without power while in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire the numbers were much less - 1,000 and 400 respectively.
Social media was clogged up with people posting about issues they had come across as a result of the storm including a fallen tree in St Peter’s Church Gardens in Wisbech, traffic tailbacks and damaged fences.
Meanwhile people were asking for information about school closures, while the police were Tweeting with updates on the roads all morning.
King’s Dyke Level Crossing and the Sixteen Foot rail crossing both re-opened just after 9am, but some roads still remain closed because of the downed trees.