Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Gareth Wyn Wil­liams

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

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