HIGH WINDS BRING TREE CRASHING ONTO CITY FLATS AND LEAVE TRAIL OF DAMAGE ON RAIL NETWORK AND BEAUTY SPOTS
THE first named storm of the season brought a tree crashing down onto city flats, left homes without power and damaged trains as winds of nearly 50mph hit the region yesterday.
Cardiff council received more than 200 calls about damage caused by Storm Aileen as it tore through South Wales during the early hours.
Winds of 48mph were recorded in the city at 2am during the peak of the storm, which left property and vehicles damaged and left some homes in the capital without power.
Residents at one block of flats felt the full force of the weather system. A loud bang woke people living in Brynfedw, in Llanedeyrn, when the high winds caused a tree near the building to split, sending a large branch crashing onto the property.
It appeared to have damaged the guttering and part of the roof.
Hafiz Adam was inside one of the flats when the tree fell.
The 19-year-old had come from London to visit his cousin.
He said: “We were actually saying the night before when it was windy that one of the other trees would fall down and then another one did.
“It was 1.20am and I was on my phone. I heard a ‘boom.’ It was a shock but I knew it was a tree.
“I rang my cousin and saw the police had already arrived.”
David Johnston, 44, has lived in the area since 1977. He said he has long considered the trees to be an issue.
“I have been calling for the trees to be cut down for about the last 15 years,” he said.
“It will cost them more now than it would have if they had cut them.”
The flats are owned by Cardiff council.
Cardiff cabinet member for culture and leisure, Councillor Peter Bradbury, said: “A tree has fallen on the roof of councilowned flats in Brynfedw in Llanedeyrn. This was made safe on Tuesday night but further work may be required.
“The parks department is in contact with housing on the next steps that need to be taken and residents will be kept informed.”
Elsewhere in the capital, there were trees down on Ty Gwyn Road in Penylan, Aberporth Road in Gabalfa, Heol Ty’n y Coed in Rhiwbina, Tymawr Road in Rumney and Mill Road in Lisvane.
The Taff Trail also became an obstacle course for cyclists and walkers with large trees down in Hailey Park, as well as just before Blackweir Bridge and on the path beside Sophia Gardens.
Coun Bradbury added that three teams from the parks department had been working “tirelessly through the night” to deal with the damage, while a team of chainsaw operators had been drafted in to clear the debris.
He confirmed some minor roads in the capital had been blocked by trees.
Arriva Trains Wales had to amend
some morning services after 12 trains were damaged after hitting trees and debris that had fallen on lines.
There were several reports of trees on the line, including between Trehafod and Pontypridd and between Cardiff and Pontyclun.
Arriva Trains Wales director Gareth Thomas said: “As a result of Storm Aileen and the significant high winds across our network overnight and on Wednesday morning, 12 of our trains have suffered varying degrees of damage from trees and debris blown across the tracks.”
Higher wind speeds were recorded in North Wales, bringing problems across the nation’s rail network.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: “Storm Aileen brought winds of up to 75mph overnight, with several trees falling, causing disruption to services across the rail network.
“The safety of passengers and our workforce is our number one priority, and we are working closely with our partners, Arriva Trains Wales, to minimise disruption and keep passengers moving.”
The M48 Severn Crossing was closed in both directions due to the gales for a time yesterday morning.
In Llandaff North, Katie Adams woke up to find a tree had fallen on her car.
“The storm kept me awake until about 1am because it was so loud, but I didn’t realise that a tree had come down outside,” she said.
“It was only when my neighbour knocked on the door that I found out a tree had fallen on my car. I don’t know how bad the damage is yet because we haven’t been able to move it.”
There were also reports of trees down in Tonyrefail and Bridgend.
Forecasters last night said that as Storm Aileen clears out eastwards into the North Sea, the UK will be left with cool, showery conditions by the end of the week and into the weekend.
A tree landed on a car in Whitchurch
A cyclist passes a tree that fell during Storm Aileen in Bute Park, Cardiff
Radka Rehova, 17, looks at a tree which toppled onto flats at Brynfedw, Cardiff
Waves break over the coastline at Porthcawl during Storm Aileen
A fallen tree close to a car in Whitchurch