Powerful storm wreaks havoc across South Yorkshire

Sheffield high winds 12/2/14 Darren Hibbert
Sheffield high winds 12/2/14 Darren Hibbert
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Horrified residents dialled 999 for help when the gales caused the gable ends of their homes to collapse.

Properties in Lennox Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, and Doncaster Road, Darfield, Barnsley, suffered severe damage.

The scene of Cantley Lane, where a man was trapped in his car by a fallen tree, Picture: Andrew Roe

The scene of Cantley Lane, where a man was trapped in his car by a fallen tree, Picture: Andrew Roe

Cladding panels were also ripped off maisonettes in Exeter Place and William Street, Broomhall, Sheffield – leading emergency services to close the street to stop passers-by being hit by flying debris.

White Lane in Gleadless was also closed amid fears a building canopy could be torn off in the wind, while roofs were lifted on buildings on Burton Road, Monk Bretton, and Spark Lane, Mapplewell.

Scores of trees were uprooted across the county, with 42 alone reported in Sheffield.

Andrea Wilde, of Kirby Avenue, Gleadless, said she was shocked when a neighbour called at her home to inform her a tree had blown over and landed in her garden, with the branches reaching her home.

She said: “We feel lucky its wasn’t more serious.”

Darren Hibbert, aged 37, of Far View Road, Sheffield Lane Top, who had a tree blow down near his home, said: “The storm was so powerful it was knocking me everywhere while I was tidying the debris in my garden.”

There were also uprooted trees blocking a number of roads including Dyke Vale Road in Hackenthorpe, Ecclesall Road South in Ecclesall, Drury Lane in Dore and Twentywell Lane in Bradway. A tree was also uprooted outside Concord Sports Centre, Shiregreen.

Chimney pots were blown off buildings in Bramall Lane, Sheffield, leaving debris shattered in the road.

Mum-of-two Kerry Fletcher, from Treeton, Rotherham, said she was terrified her children’s trampoline was going to blow away.

She said: “The wind was howling around the house and blew the trampoline onto its side then it began lifting off the ground.

“I was terrified it was going to blow into the main road because it could have caused serious problems.

“Two neighbours had to battle against the wind to get it upright again and weigh it down.”

Council workers, tree surgeons and engineers battled the elements to work during the storm.

Sheffield Council staff and the Streets Ahead team, responsible for highway maintenance, cleared up debris, unblocked roads and made damaged street lights safe.

South Yorkshire Police received more than 200 calls about weather-related incidents, while the county’s fire service received about 100 and individual councils received their own reports.

Darren Butt, operations manager for Streets Ahead contractor Amey, said: “Our staff had to work in some extremely dangerous conditions, including 90mph winds, to make safe all the fallen trees. Everyone did a first-class job to minimise the effects of the weather on the people of Sheffield.”

MeteoGroup weather forecasters said persistent heavy rain was expected in South Yorkshire this afternoon, but was predicted to die out at about 9pm.

There is also a chance of scattered showers, which will be wintry over high ground. Tomorrow will be unsettled with showers throughout the day but Sunday should be dry and bright.