Friday, 6 December 2013

Clear up well under way after major storm hits Lancaster and Morecambe area

Council staff are busy cleaning up after the storm today - a full team were
at work clearing leaf fall in Skerton before it blocked drains this morning

Lancaster City Council staff are working hard clearing up the aftermath of Thursday’s storm.

High winds caused disruption as they battered the district, bringing down trees in place like Grimshaw Lane, and causing damage to buildings.

In Morecambe, the combination of high winds and high tides saw huge waves crashing into the town’s sea defences (as these pictures by N Reid Photography on Facebook show, and this video shot near Heysham by Sam Phillips, but they held firm to prevent serious flooding. Storm boards were deployed along the length of the promenade to prevent any water which did overtop the defences running off on to Marine Road.

Happy Mount Park had to close to the public for a short time due to tree damage in the park but it was quickly re-opened.

In Lancaster Dalton Square had to be closed while the city council’s tree gang was kept busy dealing with damaged trees and Williamson Park also had to close for a short time.

Although the park has re-opened, the Butterfly House, and adjacent mini-beast area, remain closed due to damage to the roof of the building. It is likely to remain closed while the damaged is assessed and repaired – keep an eye on www.facebook.com/williamsonpark for updates. The Ashton Memorial, café and shop are unaffected.

Flood defences built on St. Georges Quay bore the brunt of most of the storm surge, as we reported yesterday, but the high tide gave plenty of cause for concern.

"In the 11 years I have lived here, I have never seen the river like this," said Quay resident David Wilde online.

"The day we moved from the Quay in February 2002, we had a very high tide like this and no flood defences there then," recalls Janice Angus. "Our cellar was flooded and round the back of the houses. We were trapped and had to move the day after. The water stank as it brought sewerage up. 

"Be glad for those defences – I know they don't look pretty but they have served their purpose!"

Councillor Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Whilst not the worst affected area in the North West, the district took quite a battering during Thursday.

“The council’s staff have worked extremely hard dealing the after-effects including dealing with the many fallen trees knocked over by the high winds.

“Thankfully all the work that has taken place over the years, not least the flood defences in Morecambe, meant we were well prepared and avoided much more serious consequences.”

On the lighter side of things, one Facebook user posted the following note: "if anybody has lost a tree load of crab apples you will find them strew along the cycle path at St George's Quay, along with various bits of foliage and a bucket..." to which came the reply: "Please photograph the bucket so it can be identified and claimed by its rightful owner."

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