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Update - High winds cause chaos across Lancashire

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Trees fell, tiles were ripped from roofs and fire crews received 300 calls in one night as the region was battered by storms.

Winds reached up to 100mph and trains on the West Coast main line between Preston and Penrith were cancelled on Wednesday.

Homes were left without power across Lancashire on Thursday, after one of the busiest evenings seen by the fire service.

Three fire engines were called after a lorry overturned at the slip road between the M6 and M55 on the southbound carriageway.

The driver was released before fire crews arrived at about 7.30pm on Wednesday, but the southbound carriageway between junction 33 and junction 32 was closed until about 2.45am following the damage.

Repairs to the link road were ongoing on Thursday and it remained closed.

Fire fighters were also called to reports of slates falling from roofs and falling trees across Lancashire.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said they received 300 calls for help around the county.

He said the number of calls was “on a par with the busiest times we’ve had on bonfire night” and said extra staff had to be called in to the section taking 999 calls.

He said most of the calls related to chimney stacks, roof tiles and guttering, and said crews attended more than 100 incidents on Wednesday night to Thursday morning.

Incidents attended included slates falling from a roof at about 4.30pm at St Paul’s Road in Deepdale, and roof tiles hanging over a footpath on Rundle Road in Plungington at about 5.45pm.

Ornamental stone work also fell from a roof on Woborrow Road in Heysham and landed on the road below.

Homes were left without power on Thursday, and Moorbrook School in Fulwood was closed to pupils after an ancient tree toppled in the wind, missing the school by only a couple of metres.

The 36-feet tall tree was planted along with the foundations of the building in 1962 and was uprooted, lifting paving flags.

Lancashire Police received 374 calls on Wednesday.

The roof of Lea Gate petrol station was damaged in the storms, as was a small amount of masonry at Lea police station.

Garstang Road, Black Bull Lane, Langley Lane and Lea Road were all blocked because of fallen trees.

In Greater Manchester, officers took more than 1,700 calls in seven hours on Wednesday as severe weather hit the region.

Between 3pm and 10pm, Greater Manchester Police received 1,766 calls from members of the public.

A show at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre was also cancelled because of the extreme weather.

 

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