High Peak battered by gale-force winds

Guess who blew in on the storm, Father Christmas waiting for a space in the South Street car park, Buxton
Guess who blew in on the storm, Father Christmas waiting for a space in the South Street car park, Buxton

GALE-FORCE winds battered the High Peak last week causing damage and creating problems on the roads.

Gusts of between 70mph and 80mph were recorded and as well as causing damage to property, the wind also led to a number of fallen trees across the High Peak.

And Santa was even blown off course by the wind, and was seen waiting for a parking space in Buxton’s South Street car park.

High Peak resident Sasha Potts-Wilson was also left counting the cost of the bad weather when a trampoline landed on her car, smashing the windscreen. Sasha was also unable to get out of her back door because of the trampoline, which had been blown over a fence across the road, over the road and onto her car.

Derbyshire County Council’s Highways teams were out throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning dealing with problems on the roads caused by high winds.

Staff dealt with fallen trees on the A620 Ashford-in-the-Water, A6 Buxton near Morrisons and Rowton Grange Road, Chapel-en-le-Frith, as well as elsewhere in the borough.

The stormy weather last Wednesday and Thursday played havoc with mountains of waste put out by households for recycling after the Christmas holidays.

And while binmen battled to catch-up on collections, the council’s Clean Team was out rounding up litter plus paper and cardboard blown from blue kerbside recycling bags. However, the emptying of some litter bins had to take a back seat until the winds had dropped.

Buxton was among the worst hit towns in the borough for wind-blown rubbish as the strong winds coincided with recycling day.

In Fairfield, street cleaners went beyond the call of duty by removing litter from the gardens of housing for people with disabilities.

The council’s building control team also received reports of three dangerous structures. One property had a loose chimney while another had glass moving around in a window frame. The third building had a sign that seemed to be coming away from a wall. The council contacted the owners and told them to make their properties safe.

As the owner of the house with the loose glass lived abroad, the council contacted the fire service to make the window safe.

Ian Huddlestone, executive councillor for regeneration, said the winds were not strong enough to pose a risk to well-maintained properties. However, defective fixtures and fittings such as loose fascias and masonry would have represented a potential danger.

He added that owners of unoccupied properties needed to be particularly vigilant in ensuring their buildings were safe.

Commuters and shoppers using Stockport station faced travel problems last Thursday morning when a tree trunk was blown onto overhead cables and caught fire at Cheadle Hulme, meaning some trains weren’t able to call at the station.

And with high winds battering most of the UK, figures from AA Insurance show a 28 per cent increase in car insurance claims over the first five days of January.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said the most common cause of damage was from dislodged roof tiles and trees or tree branches.

However, other claims included cars being damaged by trampolines, wheelie bins, garden sheds, TV aerials, a church hall roof and even a dinghy.