Trees uprooted but Wigan managed to escape storm’s wrath

The remains of the tree blown down during high winds onto Wigan Road, Ashton, between a house and an accountants office
The remains of the tree blown down during high winds onto Wigan Road, Ashton, between a house and an accountants office
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WIGAN managed to escape relatively unscathed as homes, roads and railways were battered by gales across the region.

Local folk can count themselves lucky as Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service received more than 400 calls on Wednesday night, but crews across the borough had a surprisingly quiet night.

But it wasn’t incident-free.

A fallen tree caused traffic disruption on the A49 Wigan Road, at the junction of Cansfield Grove, in Ashton, on Wednesday afternoon.

It took two hours to remove the hefty obstacle during which time it created queues as motorists were forced to divert.

There was no damage to any power lines, vehicles or houses.

The only wind-related call-out for Wigan firefighters was to assist in removing a ladder which was stranded precariously on the roof of a row of terraced houses in Vauxhall Road, Whelley, at 9pm.

The ladder had been left there a few weeks ago by a tradesman and residents called the fire service fearing it would fall and hit someone.

Crews in West Lancashire turned out to Asda car park, in Skelmersdale at 7.30pm after a trolley shelter was torn out of its moorings by the gale. Thankfully no-one was injured and no cars were damaged.

Atherton Fire Station itself suffered some minor damage as a fence panel and some plastic cladding had become dislodged.

And motorists counted themselves fortunate when a large conifer was brought down by the wind at a house in Spencer Road, Wigan, just falling short of the road.

And residents in Appley Lane South, Appley Bridge, were left without power for several hours.

With more bad weather anticipated, Wigan Leisure Trust has closed all sports pitches.

Forecasters have predicted another bout of stormy weather which will strike at lunchtime today and carry on until the weekend.

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police took more than 1,700 calls in seven hours between 3pm and 10pm on Wednesday.

Many of these related to routine crimes and call-outs, but the force did experience a rise in weather-related calls as fallen trees, damage to buildings and an increase in road traffic collisions caused disruption across the area.

To date, Greater Manchester Police has not received any definitive reports of any serious injuries caused directly by the weather.