A young couple from Southend have been telling Southend News Network’s Chief Reporter about how their ‘£450,000 dream home’ was destroyed in the hailstorm that hit the area at around 3.45pm on Tuesday. Marcus and Letuccia Moody were both at work when the ‘freak’ conditions arrived, and they now face the unenviable task of having to rebuild their Woodgrange Drive home from scratch after dealing with their insurance company. 

Mr Moody, 32, said: ‘I work in the City, and when I saw people posting about a huge hailstorm back home I was already fearing the worst. We have had a number of different contractors in the property recently, and it has been one disaster after another – we purhased the crumbling 4-bed home for £250,000 last year and we have already spent more than £95,000 on renovations. It was already in a far worse state than when we moved in, and as soon as I returned home from the train my heart sank. All we have left is a dilapidated shell where the hailstones have smashed through the timber frame and asbestos cladding, and as far as I am concerned we have no choice but to knock it all down and start again.’

His wife Lettucia, 33, added: ‘It’s a miracle that none of our neighbours suffered any damage in the storm. My car was directly underneath one of our canopies and that has been totally wrecked as well – we really have lost everything. Thankfully, our insurance claim representative has already said that she will be personally dealing with our claim, and her manager has also expressed an interest in getting the paperwork completed. My cousin lives directly opposite and she managed to film the whole thing from start to finish as she is studying for a meteorology degree and needed the footage for her course work. This evidence will be invaluable.’

In a late development, Southend News Network has received a statement from Aveera Insurance about the freak storm. Spokesperson Percy Glacé wrote: ‘We want to make it known that we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Southend, and we will be helping the community to rebuild in the coming days and months. We are currently processing 74 Southend-based claims for damage and destruction after yesterday’s hailstorm, and we promise to bring all of these cases to a conclusion as quickly as possible.’

A Southend News Network reporter was able to capture dramatic footage of the hailstorm yesterday while parked in the Shoeburyness Asda car park. Check it out on our Facebook page!