Storm Ciara brings fallen trees, power cuts and travel chaos to the Black Country
Written by The Newsroom on February 9, 2020
Storm Ciara wrecked havoc as it swept across the Black Country this weekend.
Heavy rain and winds of up to 60mph led to fallen trees, power cuts, travel chaos and floods.
Many of the region’s outdoor visitor attractions – including the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Zoo – closed for the day amid safety fears, while motorists and train passengers were advised to only travel if “absolutely necessary”.
Wolverhampton seemed to bear the brunt of Storm Ciara’s wrath as trees crashed to the ground across the city as a result of the severe gales.
A Bilston family had a lucky escape after one fell onto their Watton Close home. West Midlands Fire Service cordoned off the area before a team from City of Wolverhampton Council arrived to cleat the scene. It’s believed the incident led to a damaged walll and drains.
(Image: Callum Sheldon)
The council also decided to close its parks and cemeteries due to the extreme weather – a wise decision considering a tree came down in Park Road East when it uprooted in West Park, while another blocked vehicular access to Claregate Park.
In Dudley, the pavement outside The Meadow Lark pub in Dibdale Road, Milking Bank, was partially obstructed after a tree fell down near the pedestrian crossing.
New Farm Road in Stourbridge was also temporarily blocked while Dudley Council’s highways team removed a tree from the road.
Across Sandwell and Walsall, hundreds of families were left without power.
Western Power Distribution said power cuts affected 211 homes in Walsall and a 83 properties in Oldbury – but both incidents have since been resolved.
However, a further 88 properties in the Caldmore area of Walsall are now experiencing a loss of power, which is estimated to last until 9.30pm.
Further afield, heavy rainfall flooded a busy road in Staffordshire.
Footage captured by TV Taxis Cannock – which can be viewed above – shows the full impact of Storm Ciara.
Urging other motorists to take care, a spokesman for the firm said: “Beware, Stafford Road, Huntington, is completely flooded and drain covers have also lifted up.”
The storm also put extra pressure on the emergency services, with West Midlands Police being forced to ask people to think before picking up the phone.
Taking to Twitter, the force revealed it had been inundated with weather-related calls, adding: “It’s a busy day and our contact centre is already taking lots of Storm Ciara related calls.
“If it’s not a crime, please think before you call us.
“If you see any damaged power lines, keep everyone clear and call UK Power Networks on 105. If you need to report a fallen tree or highway obstruction, call your local council.”
Travel was also disrupted, as two Ryanair flights bound for Birmingham wer forced to divert to Manchester.
The flight from Dublin Airport was set to touch down at Birmingham Airport this morning – but was thrown off course due to Ciara’s severe gales.
A second flight from Madrid to Birmingham, also diverted to Manchester Airport just minutes later.
Rail passengers also faced disruption as many services have been delayed and cancelled throughout the day.
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via Birmingham Mail - Cannock News