Lorries blown over and trees down as high winds hit region

York Press: The flooded foreshore at Scarborough, which was swamped by freak tides. Picture: Tony Bartholomew The flooded foreshore at Scarborough, which was swamped by freak tides. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

GALE force winds lashed Yorkshire causing transport chaos, power cuts and road closures.

Emergency services responded to dozens of calls about fallen trees from early in the morning. By mid-afternoon, North Yorkshire Police said they had answered more than 70 calls, and reported at least 60 fallen trees across the county.

In Acomb, York, the landlords of the Sun Inn, Alan and Judy Williams, woke at 8am to see a tree lying across a 4x4 parked opposite the pub.

The weather caused disruptions and delays all through the morning rush hour, as council contractors worked to removed it. Later in the morning workers started cutting back more trees nearby to stop them coming down on to the pub.

Huntington Road was closed and bus services were diverted later in the morning when a fallen tree blocked the road.

In Nether Poppleton, Keith Hilton had parked his Skoda Octavia outside St Everilda’s Church, where he was attending the funeral of Jennifer Ryan. Minutes before the ceremony started a huge branch broke off a tree in the churchyard and crashed through the back screen of his car.

He said: “We can only count ourselves lucky no one was in the car. The first we heard was when someone came into the church saying a silver car had had a branch fall on it.”

A 300-year-old tree in the grounds of Middlethorpe Hall was brought down by the wind, and Newgate Market, York Festive Fayre in Parliament Street, Rowntree Park and the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall gardens were all closed.

Northern Powergrid reported more than 35,000 homes without power on Thursday afternoon, across the North East, North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. About 500 homes in the Tollerton Road area of Newton-on-Ouse lost power for a time.

Three lorries collided on the southbound carriageway of tha A168 near Asenby at 5.38am. One of the drivers was trapped for almost two hours before being flown to James Cook Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. Another lorry overturned on the A19 near Thirsk at about 7am.

Lord Mayor’s Walk was closed at about 2pm as firefighters removed loose leading from the roof of a university building.

At least three trampolines were blown on to roads around the county.

On the B1224 at Bickerton, a flying trampoline hit a car, but nobody was injured.

Scarborough seafront was last night described as a “scene from the Titanic” as the resort’s entire Golden Mile was swamped by the freak tides.

Fishing crews leapt aboard their vessels to stop them being wrecked as pounding waves breached the harbour wall.

Arcades and cafés were flooded along the entire South Bay. Deck chair stacks were lifted off the beach onto the prom.

Showers of sparks were seen as the waves shorted out electric mains. The lifeboat station was abandoned as a deluge of water poured through the doors.

Piles of fish boxes were swept away and split open, filling the air with the stench of the morning’s catch.

The harbour wall disappeared under the rising tide. Shopkeepers were trapped in their premises.

It was estimated the tide was 6.1m above normal when it finally peaked about 5.20pm.

But the floodwaters failed to recede.

Former mayor Janet Jefferson said: “This is a disaster for the seafront properties which have been hit.

“I have lived here 30 years and never seen anything like it.”

Today, winds are expected to ease, but colder air may bring snow this evening.

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