Gale force winds batter Preston

Gale force winds hit Preston overnight
Gale force winds hit Preston overnight
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Lancashire was battered by gale force winds overnight as gusts of up to 54mph hit parts of the county, say the Met Office.

Fire crews in Preston were called to reports of a tree that had been uprooted and a billboard that had been dislodged by the wind.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "We were called to reports of an unsafe tree at around 10pm on Larches Avenue. The tree was around 12ft high and its roots had become dislodged by the wind. We pulled the tree down and cut it up.

"We were called to another incident at around 11pm on Church Street where a billboard on the side of a takeaway was damaged by wind.

"We used a 10.5 metre ladder to get up to the billboard and take down the affected parts."

The Isle of Man Steam Packet also cancelled its overnight sailings in anticipation of winds in excess of 50 knotts. Affected passengers have been offered 'Priority Standby' tickets due to the "heavy level of bookings".

A spokesman for the company said: "The Steam Packet Company regrets to advise that the weather forecast for later this evening has led to the cancellation of Tuesday evening’s sailing to Heysham. The Company wishes to apologise to all of its passengers at this very busy time."