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'Wild Wednesday' storms wreak havoc across Wirral and Merseyside
Updated 9:40am Friday 14th February 2014 in News
HOMES were left without power and severe disruption hit the road and rail network as "Wild Wednesday"storms wreaked havoc across Wirral and Merseyside last night.
Nine people were evacuated from a sheltered housing complex at Lingdale Court, West Kirby, when a large section of the roof was blown off in the hurricane-force wind.
Police were called at around 8.20pm following reports of concern for safety.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service advised the building is unsafe and structural engineers from the local authority are assessing the extent of the damage.
The flats have been evacuated and a cordon put in place.
The Met Office issued a “red” wind warning for Merseyside, urging people to “alter their travel arrangements during this spell of storm force winds”.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service reports that crews attended 37 storm-related incidents across the county between 5pm yesterday and 3am today.
Around 2,500 Scottish Power customers on the peninsula lost their supply due to downed power lines.
The Chester High Road at Willaston and parts of Borough Road in Birkenhead were closed due to fallen electricity cables.
Pensby Road was blocked due to a fallen tree, as was Stanton Road, Bebington, Brookhurst Avenue in Bromborough and Bromborough Road.
Safety fears caused South Parade, West Kirby, to be closed.
Greasby Road was blocked in both directions due to a fallen tree between Saughall Massie Lane and Arrowe Park Road.
The Highways Agency said all roads have now been re-opened.
The big top tent of Big Kid's Circus, which is due to open on the car boot site in Pasture Road, Moreton, tomorrow, was brought down by the wind.
A member of the circus' crew told the Globe the tent is being put back up today and a clean-up is underway ahead the first performance on Friday.
Liverpool Lime Street was closed this morning as a result of falling masonry, but has since been reopened.
Several flights to and from John Lennon Airport were cancelled and the Mersey Ferry service was suspended at 6pm.
Last night’s performance of "Ghost" at the Liverpool Empire was cancelled.
A theatre spokesman said: “Due to the extreme weather in Liverpool the power supply to the theatre wasn't stable enough to support the complicated technical systems involved with Ghost.
“For the safety of the cast and the audience, the producers and the theatre took the decision to cancel the show."
Earlier reports of damage to the roof of St John's Shopping Centre in Liverpool were unfounded.
A statement from the centre said winds caused damage to the roof of a property adjoining the centre, and as a result Lime Street was closed.
"We can confirm that St Johns Shopping Centre is undamaged and open for business as usual today," said a spokeswoman.
Everton’s home match was called off just before kick-off following safety fears around Goodison Park.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “The force would like to reassure the public that together with partner agencies, there are tried and tested contingency plans in place for extreme weather conditions.
“Those plans have been implemented today and partner agencies will respond appropriately to all emergency calls.”
Liverpool Coastguard reported winds gusting at Force 12 - hurricane strength.
The gales peaked at 86mph at around 8pm.
The storms caused chaos across the country and some 80,000 households remain without electricity this morning.
Wales was the worst affected, the Energy Networks Association said.
The storms left one man dead and hundreds stranded as winds of up to 108mph stopped trains in their tracks, blew roofs off stations and closed major transport links
Tim Field, for Energy Networks Association, which represents energy companies in the UK, said: "We continue working throughout today to get as many of those people back on supply as quickly and as safely as possible.
"We have seen some pretty horrendous conditions.
"Wales has suffered very strong winds of over 100mph, gusts in excess of 80mph and 90mph quite frequently on land, and that has caused a lot of damage across the network across Wales so that is where we are seeing the majority of those people off supply at the moment."
Last night about 130,000 homes and businesses were without power across the country, with 10,000 affected in the North West, 52,000 in Mid and North Wales, 10,000 in Cheshire, 13,000 in the West Midlands and 19,000 in the South West.
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