High winds cause chaos across Belper

A power cut affected a school, trees blocked roads and a wall was toppled as high winds caused chaos across the Belper area.

Gusts of around 54 mph were experienced in the area, according to a reading taken from the nearest Met Office observation point, as the worst of the storm swept through the town on Thursday lunchtime.

By 7am a tree had already been toppled in Dalley Lane, Belper. Police attended, however, they were not needed as a farmer volunteered tochop up and remove the trunk with the help of his chainsaw.

As the strengthof the gales increased around 1pm, a trampoline was swept-up on Hunter Road, Belper and thrown on to parked cars.

A short time later at about 1.45pm a small wall on High Street, Belper came down. And police were also called to another two trees down on Broadholme Lane around 2.30pm.

Meanwhile, fallen trees were also preventing buses from reaching Belper Lane End, Whitehouse Rise and Hazelwood Church and Chesterfield Road was blocked.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary said they were called to an “unbelieveable” amount of incidents across the county during the course of the day.

The force reported a 150 per cent increase in calls, from 100 overall to 250 weather-related, from noon to 2pm.

The freak weather also caused power cuts. A blackout affected Belper School, preventing heaters from working. Western Power said they had managed to restore the supply by around 8pm.

There were also power cuts along Sandbed Lane.

A Western Power spokesman said: “We deployed extra staff to help with repairs across the area and worked hard to retore supply as quickly. The high winds affected overhead lines.”

East Midlands Trains said its services experienced “severe delays” due to the strong winds and there were delays on both inbound and outbound flights from East Midlands Airport because of the wind.

Elsewhere, part of the roof of the Royal Derby Hospital was blown off and drivers were stranded when two falling trees blocked a road in Spondon,

And nationally two people were killed. A man died after he was struck by a falling tree in a park in Retford, Nottinghamshire and a lorry driver was killed when his HGV toppled on to a number of cars in West Lothian, Scotland.

The powerful storm has also led to the evacuation of thousands of families living on the east coast.