Re­sort bat­tered as Storm Ali blows in

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @jamie_lopez

TREES were blown onto roads and rail­ways and the South­port Pier train top­pled as storms bat­tered South­port last week.

Winds of around 50mph bat­tered the town, with higher speeds recorded across other ar­eas of the North West.

Guild­ford Road in Birk­dale was blocked when a tree fell on the road near Stam­ford Road and had to be cut up to be re­moved.

Trains were forced to stop run­ning at South­port and Birk­dale sta­tions on Fri­day af­ter­noon after a tree fell and blocked the line on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

A large tree also fell in Botanic Gar­dens in Church­town on Wed­nes­day, land­ing on grass near the chil­dren’s play area, while an­other fell and blocked Fylde Road in Marsh­side.

Sig­nif­i­cant da­m­age was caused to a flood­light and fenc­ing around the ten­nis courts at South­port and Birk­dale Cricket Club when the large sight screens from the cricket pitch were bowled over, de­spite hav­ing been se­cured with con­crete blocks.

The da­m­age oc­curred even though South­port and most of Mersey­side had not been in­cluded in the orig­i­nal Yel­low Weather Warn­ing is­sued by the Met Of­fice ahead of the storm.

An un­ex­pected vic­tim of this was the pier’s train, which was blown onto its side dur­ing the bad weather.

No-one was hurt when the train fell, with the driver, Colin Poole, the only per­son present at the time of the in­ci­dent.

Natalie Jamieson-Mor­ri­son, whose fam­ily runs the South­port Pier Pav­il­lion cafe, said: “We were clos­ing the pier as it hap­pened be­cause of the wind.

“He was putting the train back away and the wind just blew two car­riages over but there was no da­m­age.”

Ac­cord­ing to Sefton Coun­cil, its Tree and Wood­land Team re­ceived more than 37 sep­a­rate calls re­gard­ing tree da­m­age on the Wed­nes­day alone.

A Met Of­fice spokesper­son said: “The process of is­su­ing weather warn­ings is based on a num­ber of things in­clud­ing time of day, wind speeds and is also taken in con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal ad­vis­ers in that re­gion.

“In terms of where the warn­ings were made, they were pretty close to Liver­pool and strong winds were high­lighted in the fore­cast.

“The warn­ing sys­tem is al­ways looked at to see what lessons can be learnt.

“Hope­fully, with the storm be­ing named, peo­ple were still more aware of the winds.”

South­port Pier’s train was blown over by Storm Ali’s high winds

A tree blown over near the play area at Botanic Gar­dens

A tree down in Guild­ford Road

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