Storm chaos – but why weren’t we warned?

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

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.”

The South­port Pier train on its side, af­ter it was top­pled over by the high winds

The tree across the Leeds-Liver­pool Canal near the Crab­tree Lane Bridge, Burscough COLIN WARE­ING

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