WET & WILD
NORTH WALES LASHED BY TAIL END OF HURRICANE
ROADS and railway lines were blocked and roofs blown off properties as ex-hurricane Ophelia battered Anglesey and Gwynedd on Monday.
Schools and leisure centres closed early, ferries were cancelled and the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait was shut as gusts of up to 90mph swept across the region.
The storm, which just days earlier was a Category 3 hurricane, left many homes without power after trees brought electricity lines across Anglesey and Gwynedd crashing down.
On Anglesey, restrictions were put in place on the Britannia Bridge at around 1pm preventing high-sided vehicles from crossing, with a full closure in place at around 5pm.
Traffic was diverted to the nearby Menai Suspension Bridge until the A55 crossing reopened to cars at around 7.25pm.
Part of the A5 on Anglesey had to be closed after a garage roof blew off and blocked the road at Gwalchmai. Other buildings in the area were damaged when the roof came off.
Police warned motorists in Gwynedd and Anglesey not to travel unless absolutely necessary due to the force of the winds.
Ferries between Holyhead and Ireland were also cancelled, and schools across Anglesey were closed at lunchtime, with some schools in Gwynedd also closing.
Libraries and recycling centres also closed early.
Around 10 boats, heading to loca- tions including Liverpool, Runcorn and Spain, also dropped anchor off Amlwch as they wait for the storm to pass.
A Holyhead Coastguard spokesman said the area, known as Moelfre anchorage, was often used as a stop off point, but could also be used to provide a safe area during stormy weather.
He said: “When there is a big storm like this one coming, a lot of ships will try and get some shelter.
“We do not have anything to do with them as such but we know they are there and keep an eye on them in case any of them slip from their anchor.
“They will sit there and wait before they go into Liverpool Port and it is also a pilot pick up.
“It is also known as a safe anchorage spot because they get a lot of shelter off Anglesey.”
The spokesman said it was down to the ship captains whether they chose to anchor up ahead of stormy weather hitting.
This brave motorist ploughs through the whipped up sea at Trearddur Bay, Anglesey. Inset clockwise: a man beats a hasty retreat from the waves, the closed Britannia Bridge and the damaged Horseshoe Garage in Gwalchmai