More rain forecast as Bolton cleans up after wind battering
THE clean-up operation after “wild Wednesday” was in full swing yesterday — but more strong winds and torrential rain are set to batter the town again this weekend.
The North West was issued with a “red” Met Office warning on Wednesday — the most severe — to warn of predicted gusts of 80 to 90mph.
Trees were blown over, causing disruption to road and rail travel, while buildings were damaged as emergency services were stretched.
The Bolton fire service said it dealt with four times more incidents than normal on Wednesday evening.
Greater Manchester Police reported a spike in weather-related calls, although the bulk of the 1,766 calls they received between 3pm and 10pm were for “routine call-outs”.
Yesterday was largely dry and the wind levels dropped drastically.
But heavy rain and strong winds are expected to return to the town this afternoon, staying well into Saturday, with another storm system currently over the Atlantic.
Firefighters initially feared that a small child was trapped under a 70ft tree which fell on Chorley New Road in Horwich, but it was a false alarm.
The 450-vehicle staff car park at the Royal Bolton Hospital was shut after the winds tore bricks from a boiler house on access road Kitchener Way.
Trees also fell in the A666 Blackburn Road near Egerton and the railway line between Bolton and Preston.
Firefighters had to make repairs to the Seven Stars in Lee Gate, Harwood, on Wednesday night, and a window of town centre bar Bamboogy was blown out earlier in the day.
The fire service dealt with 28 calls between 5pm and 8pm on Wednesday, roughly four times the normal amount.
Council tree surgeons dealt with 25 incidents on Wednesday night, while building control, cleansing and highways teams were working into the early hours of Thursday morning.
The weather panic brought out the best in many Bolton people.
Scout leader Robert Feakin, aged 21, from Egerton, leapt into action to help drivers left at a standstill by the tree on the A666.
Mr Feakin, aided by colleagues at a nearby scout base and some drivers stranded on the A666, set about moving the tree using his own Land Rover.
He dragged the tree off the road before colleagues directed traffic through to ease congestion.
When council tree surgeons arrived shortly after, the tree had been moved.
Mr Feakin said: “It happened right next to our hut and we thought we ought to do something about it. It was really windy out there, not very pleasant at all, but I was just glad I could help.”
- You can see our live coverage of the storms here and here, and the latest live weather information here.