Storm chaos – but why weren’t we warned?
APENSIONER was trapped when a tree fell on her car as Storm Ali battered West Lancashire.
The area had been excluded from a storm warning by the Met Office, but still faced winds of around 50mph last Wednesday, as trees fell onto roads in Ormskirk and into the canal at Burscough.
In Ormskirk, a woman had to be cut free from her car after a tree landed on it at around 1pm on Lathom Lane.
Firefighters needed to use cutting equipment and a winch to rescue the pensioner.
According to the North West Ambulance Service, the woman was taken to Southport Hospital with back injuries but was not said to have suffered major trauma.
In Southport, damage included the Southport Pier train being blown onto its side.
There were no passengers inside at the time and there were no injuries.
Trains were also delayed after a tree had to be cleared from the lines near Ormskirk station, and Advertiser readers reported power cuts in Burscough.
Also in Burscough, the Canals and River Trust was called out to clear a tree which had fallen into the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
Colin Wareing, who runs a shop selling handmade gifts from his boat with his wife, Carole, was moored just 10 yards from where the tree fell, near the Slipway pub.
Burscough Heritage Group member Colin said: “We were sat in the boat and heard a crack, then it fell down in slow motion.
“The boys from the Canal and River Trust were out quickly and dealt with it.
“If we were moored 10 yards back, it would have landed right on top of us.”
Elsewhere on the Canal, a boat came free from its mooring and ended up wedged sideways under a bridge near the Ship Inn, in Haskayne.
West Lancashire Borough Council was called out to 13 reports of tree damage caused by the storm, including two which were blocking roads.
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 advisors 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, and results of that come out in the fullness of time.
“Hopefully, with the storm being named, people were still more aware of the winds.”