A Doris day of de­struc­tion

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHIANNON MCDOWALL

STORM Doris wreaked havoc when she blew across Mac­cles­field, leav­ing thou­sands of homes with­out elec­tric­ity.

A to­tal of 2,700 homes lost power when gale force winds caused trees to fall and hit ca­bles and power lines last Thurs­day morn­ing.

Among the res­i­dents worst af­fected were 419 peo­ple in Poyn­ton, where flying de­bris brought over­head lines down, and 219 in Chelford, where a fallen tree dam­aged a power line.

Wa­ter was cut off for most of the day for many prop­er­ties on the We­ston when a tree up­rooted a wa­ter pipe and crashed into elec­tric­ity ca­bles as it fell.

A spokesman from United Util­i­ties said they took longer than usual to re­pair a dam­aged wa­ter main be­cause en­gi­neers had to wait un­til an elec­tric­ity ca­ble was made safe. He said: “Wa­ter was af­fected on the We­ston when a tree came down.

“As it was com­ing down the roots ripped up the wa­ter main and in do­ing so it fell into the elec­tric­ity ca­bles, which meant we couldn’t go out on site to fix it un­til the elec­tric­ity sup­ply had been dealt with. It took al­most a day to deal with but wa­ter was back on by 4.30pm.”

Kel­lie Mills, who lives in Mac­cles­field, braved the storm. She said: “I wasn’t scared of the storm at first un­til the howl­ing that swirled around my house started, as if it was scream­ing, bins started flying to­wards the cars. I tried to go out with my daugh­ter be­cause I had to take my sick cat to the vets again to see if she was well enough to fi­nally have her op­er­a­tion but I felt like the car was go­ing to tip over at any sec­ond - then I was truly scared.”

The coun­cil’s high­ways de­part­ment was forced to close a num­ber of roads due to fallen trees and flood­ing, with 20 call outs in Mac­cles­field and more than 200 across Cheshire East. A 40ft oak tree fell across School Lane in Mar­ton and a fall­ing tree pulled an elec­tri­cal ca­ble down on Lon­don Road in Adling­ton.

Coun­cil­lor David Brown, cab­i­net mem­ber for high­ways and in­fra­struc­ture, praised of­fi­cers.

He said: “The true test of a high­ways team is how they re­act when the go­ing gets tough – as it did (on Thurs­day). I’m proud that our team of op­er­a­tives and in­spec­tors were able to com­pletely stay on top of a rapidly-chang­ing sit­u­a­tion, in­clud­ing many col­leagues, who worked long into the night.”

In­spec­tor Cather­ine Mitchell, from Mac­cles­field po­lice, said it was all hands to the deck when the force re­ceived more than 800 calls across the county. She said: “All of­fi­cers – in­clud­ing those from CID and other units – came out to sup­port our re­sponse. It was a real team ef­fort. Our main prob­lem in Mac­cles­field was fallen trees and branches. As far as we know no one was hurt.”

A spokesper­son for Elec­tric­ity North West, said: “We were well pre­pared for Storm Doris and I’m happy to re­port that we re­stored power quickly to the vast ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers af­fected by the se­vere weather. Our en­gi­neers worked in ex­tremely dif­fi­cult con­di­tions to re­pair dam­age caused by the se­vere gales and we would like to thank ev­ery­one for their sup­port last week.

A tree comes down across a house on the cor­ner of Cop­pice Rise and Maple Av­enue ; left, a flying cone ended up in some bushes

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