STORM FORCE

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - CATHY OWEN AND WILL HAY­WARD echo.news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

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

WALES NEWS SER­VICE

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

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