Wrexham and Flintshire starts the storm clean-up

Published date: 14 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A HUGE clear-up operation is taking place after the fierce storms that battered the region.

Hurricane-force winds began to take hold at about 2pm on Wednesday – with the Met Office issuing a red warning of danger to life – and continued until about 10pm when the storm was downgraded.

The gusts, which reached 100mph on parts of the North Wales coast, left behind a trail of destruction across the region and over 40,000 homes throughout North and mid-Wales, and thousands more in Cheshire, were left without power.

Homes in Abermodduu, Caergwrle, Cilcain, Hendre, Llanferis, and Cefn-y-bedd were among those without power on Wednesday evening while in Cheshire about 9,000 homes including Dodleston, Upton and Farndon had their power cut.

Over a 24-hour period, staff in the North Wales Police control room dealt with 1,865 non-emergency calls and 714 emergency 999 calls.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and co-operation yesterday [Wednesday],” said call centre manager Paul Shea.

“With the extreme weather conditions, we experienced a significant increase in calls.

“The peak period proved to be between 5pm and 6pm when 230 emergency 999 calls were made to North Wales Police.

“Although we are unable to distinguish how many of those calls were weather-related, we can say that the number of 999 calls made was far higher than those received on New Year’s Eve. Furthermore, non-emergency calls were around 50 per cent higher than a normal Wednesday.”

A spokesman for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “(On Wednesday) we had power outage at a number of our hospitals, including Chirk, Penley, Ruthin, Bryn Beryl, Tywyn and Dolgellau.  Emergency generators kicked in and enabled essential services to continue. In most cases the power came back on last night  (Wednesday). It is to the credit of the staff that there was no adverse impact on services and patient care.”

Thirty-four trees were blown down in Wrexham leading to roads being blocked.

A huge tree came crashing down on to Rhosnesni Lane, Acton, and it was cleared away yesterday morning by council officials and the emergency services. The road was reopened by the afternoon.

Further fallen trees closed streets on Summerhill Road, Gwersyllt, and caused traffic problems near St Joseph’s High School on Sontley Road, and on Burton Road, Rossett, close to the Alyn pub.

Delph Road, Overton Road, Bowling Bank and Griffin Hill all re-opened in the early hours of yesterday after fallen trees and branches were removed.

Mold Road, Wrexham, closed on Wednesday evening, partially re-opened yesterday while workmen made repairs to the roof of the Glyndwr Racecourse Ground.

A Glyndwr University spokesman said: “Two panels blew off the roof of the Mold Road stand on Wednesday evening. The road was closed and contracters were repairing the damage on Thursday.”

Temporary traffic lights were in place on Mold Road while the work was carried outcausing long tailbacks at rush-hour around the Mold Road roundabout, the A541 and A483.

Hundreds of children were told to stay off school yesterday as several schools closed due to loss of power and wind damage. Ysgol y Waun, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog CP, Penycae CP, Ysgol Grango and Ysgol Cynddelw were all shut.

Wrexham Council confirmed bin collections were going ahead as planned.

The A525 Nant-y-Garth Pass remained closed in both directions throughout yesterday due to several trees in the road between the B5429 for Pentre Celyn and the B5431 at Llandegla.

A lorry which overturned on the A525 near Wrexham Industrial Estate at 5.15pm on Wednesday was recovered yesterday, causing its load of metal tins to fall out of the back. The lorry toppled over in high winds but the driver escaped injury.

At 5.06am yesterday a fire and rescue crew from Wrexham were called to a hotel on High Street, Ruabon, to take down an overhanging sign which had become a danger to the public.

Residents in Farndon, Holt and Bangor-on-Dee once again woke up to flooding as the River Dee continued to overflow into the rural villages.

The Straight Mile road at Bangor-on-Dee was closed yesterday as was the A525 in both directions due to flooding between the B5426 for Bangor-on-Dee and the B5130 at Cross Lanes.

Wrexham Council confirmed the road remained closed despite some motorists moving the cones and ignoring signs.

The water levels show no sign of retreating, with a month’s worth of average February rainfall anticipated to hit the region over the course of the next 48 hours, according to the Met Office.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they had received over 240 calls to their control room between 2pm on Wednesday and 7am yesterday.

Of the calls received, resources were deployed to 70 incidents and information from a further 62 of the calls was transferred to other agencies for attention.

The incidents included overturned lorries, road traffic collisions, flooding and numerous dangerous structures around North Wales.

Kevin Roberts, senior operations manager, said: “We are grateful to the public for heeding the advice of all the agencies in the co-ordinated multi agency response which involved the emergency services, local authorities and partners.

“Although the severe weather has subsided this morning we would advise that people continue to take extra care as there remain disruptions to travel – please check ahead before setting off.”

Weather conditions had improved significantly by yesterday morning but Chief Inspector Darren Wareing of North Wales Police said: “We would still ask people to look out for elderly vulnerable neighbours and friends in the aftermath of the storms.

“We are aware that there are still some people without power and that trees and other debris are causing obstruction and will take time to be cleared, but the overall situation is returning to normal.”

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