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- Bolton was battered by strong winds overnight, causing disruption and damage across the town.
- The Met Office issued a "red" weather warning, meaning there is a risk to life.
- Trees and signs have been blown over, and buildings have been damaged.
- Commuters still face disruption after the M60, M62 and M6 were all affected by the storm.
- Access for staff to the Royal Bolton Hospital has been hit this morning after the winds dislodged some bricks from a boiler building.
That's all from us today. Thanks for joining us.
Calm is slowly being restored to Bolton after a day recovering from last night's storms.
The strain on Bolton's four fire stations and council response teams is slowly being eased, while rail and road links are now mostly running normally.
The region's motorways are currently experiencing nothing more than routine rush hour congestion.
Bolton has escaped comparatively lightly so far when compared with other parts of the UK.
Elsewhere in the country:
The floods crisis has been described as an "unparalleled natural crisis" by experts.
A pensioner thought to have been electrocuted while moving a tree which had brought down power cables has been named as Roger Hayward from Bremhill, Wiltshire.
A man has died after a two-car crash in Macclesfield, where police found a tree partially blocking the road.
Prime Minister David Cameron has promised more visits to flood-hit communities, especially in the South West, with a Cabinet committee set to meet to discuss flood recovery.
Work is beginning to clear debris, fallen trees and other damage caused by the 100mph winds that battered the Welsh coast.
A Stalybridge man was knocked unconscious after being hit by a fence panel.
A lightning strike has knocked out water supplies to 66 homes in Cornwall.
Homes across Staffordshire and Cheshire are without power.
CLEARED: Following poor weather conditions between #Bolton and #Preston all lines have now reopened.— @northernrailorg 13 February 2014
We'll be out #grittingBolton from 7pm tonight. You can sign up for alerts here: http://t.co/EvOWkT7hBP— @boltoncouncil 13 February 2014
Here's the latest national weather picture:
Tens of thousands of homes remain without power after Britain was battered by more treacherous weather conditions and gusts of over 100mph.
Some 80,000 households remain without electricity, with Wales the worst affected by the "Wild Wednesday" storms, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said.
The storms left one man dead and h undreds stranded as winds of up to 108mph stopped trains in their tracks, blew roofs off stations and closed major transport links
Tim Field, for Energy Networks Association, which represents energy companies in the UK, said: "We continue working throughout today to get as many of those people back on supply as quickly and as safely as possible.
"We have seen some pretty horrendous conditions. Wales has suffered very strong winds of over 100mph, gusts in excess of 80mph and 90mph quite frequently on land, and that has caused a lot of damage across the network across Wales so that is where we are seeing the majority of those people off supply at the moment."
Last night about 130,000 homes and businesses were without power across the country, with 10,000 affected in the North West, 52,000 in Mid and North Wales, 10,000 in Cheshire, 13,000 in the West Midlands and 19,000 in the South West.
12:50pm Thu 13 Feb 14
Oh dear me.local man displaying the community spirit of post war B herittain when we actually got things done!
Now must expect a visit from the local thought police threatening him with prosecution for not carrying out a health and safety assessment before leaping into action! Hope he dispatches the thought police as efficiently as he solve the problem with the tree.Well done that man.
@TheBoltonNews tree down across roading brook road Harwood http://t.co/5EbvZ7yiiH— @Paul17cPaul 13 February 2014
Just been on moss bank and another tree nearly down @TheBoltonNews http://t.co/4dSFjzekXH— @kayhalliwell 13 February 2014
Today is a little chilly but the winds and rain storms have died down for the time being.
But Bolton may not be totally out of the woods yet, with more stormy weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon and Saturday.
Heavy rain is forecast to return to the town at about midday tomorrow and is set to stay until Saturday evening.
More stong winds are also expected in the afternoon tomorrow.
This fresh weather system is currently over the Atlantic and it is not yet clear whether it will be more or less severe than the one yesterday.
Fallen tree in Blackburn Road, Egerton, last night
We're getting reports of two trees falling directly in the middle of a children's playground in Farnworth overnight, opposite the town hall.
Nobody thought to be injured.
Robert Feakin, aged 21, from Egerton, leapt into action to help drivers left at a standstill by a tree which had fallen on the A666.
A scout leader, he was running a scouts evening at the 78th Bolton North group's Egerton base when parents contacted him to say they would be late collecting their children.
Mr Feakin, aided by colleagues and some of the drivers stranded on the A666, then set about moving the tree.
Using his own Land Rover, he dragged the tree off the road and colleagues were able to direct the traffic through two lanes to ease the congestion.
Council tree surgeons arrived shortly after the fallen tree had been dealt with.
Mr Feakin said: "It happened right next to our hut and we thought we ought to do something about it.
"I was a little dubious over whether my car would be able to manage it, but with eight blokes helping me, we got it off the road.
"It was really windy out there, not very pleasant at all, but I was just glad I could help."
We've just spoken to a man who, with a few helping hands, dragged a tree off the A666 at Egerton last night with his Land Rover.
His story to follow.
Picture below from @benlevyfire of firefighters tending to the roof of the Seven Stars pub in Harwood.
Here's another pic of the fallen tree in Roading Brook Road, Harwood
28 calls received for Bolton Borough last night, on a normal evening we would attend aprox 7 or 8.— GMFRS Bolton Borough (@FireBolton) February 13, 2014
Sorry to the people of Bolton coming to my show tonight. Not happening I'm stuck on the m6 and have been for 4 hours. Have to reschedule.— @jimeoin 12 February 2014
The damage the wind created has actually made parts of Bolton better. #HurricaneLawrenceLlewelynBowen— @papalanga 13 February 2014
Services between Bolton and Preston are running normally again after delays this morning.
A tree was blown onto the track near Horwich Parkway station.
Trains between Bolton and Preston have been delayed all morning.
The 11.40am Northern Rail service to Blackpool is delayed by 20 minutes.
Meanwhile the 1.07 Transpennine service to Blackpool has been cancelled because of signalling problems.
GALES, winds and torrential rain battered Bolton yesterday — with the Met Office issuing a “red warning” for the North West.
A 70ft conifer came crashing down across Kirkhall Lane in Heaton — near the junction with St George’s Road — at about 5.30pm and a road sign was uprooted in Junction Road West in Lostock. A window was blown out of the top floor of Bamboogy bar in Bradshawgate at about 4.30pm shattering on the pavement outside.
No one was hurt in the incident but police put a cordon in place outside the bar while workmen cleared the broken glass.
Red weather warnings are rare, usually occurring only once or twice a year, with the Met Office only issuing them
if there is a “risk to life”.
People were also urged to be aware of the risks posed by falling trees, structural damage to property and loss of power.
Fire chiefs in Greater Manchester said their control room had been inundated with calls from across Greater Manchester.
Warren Pickstone, the fire service’s head of resilience and planning, said: “We are urging people to take extra care in this weather. Think about your property and secure large items like climbing frames and trampolines. Remove items which could be easily blown away like garden furniture or laundry from your garden or balcony. Don’t go out in your vehicle or make journeys unless you really have to — if you must travel please take extra care, plan your journey and leave plenty of time to get to your destination.”
Harwood seems to have been home to a lot of the damage in Bolton.
As we reported last night, fire crews attended the Seven Stars pub in Lee Gate.
Timber supports and tiles were blown from the roof at about 6.20pm and needed securing.
CHORLEY NEW ROAD UPDATE
Firefighters initially feared that a child was trapped under a 70ft tree which fell on Chorley New Road in Horwich.
This turned out to be a false alarm and the firefighters managed to clear the tree relatively quickly.
A lot of people were encouraged to ring their local authority during the storm, to ease the strain on the emergency services.
The council announced they were in a "state of readiness".
Bolton Council tree surgeons dealt with 25 issues across the borough last night, working until midnight.
They are back out this morning responding to calls received overnight.
Cleansing teams were also out until the early hours clearing debris on roads and motorways.
Five reports of structural damage were made to building control, and some more calls have been received this morning.
The highways team also responed to five incidents last night and two this morning.
They removed a lamp column which was blown over in St Peters Way and a street light damaged by a falling tree in Walton Court.
Updates from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Bolton Council on the way shortly
HARWOOD POWER CUTS
Electricity North West is reporting a power cut affecting houses in Fellside and Davenport Fold Road.
They expect the power to be down until 6pm tonight, with "damage to equipment" the reason for the outage.
A tree fell on a power cable in nearby Roading Brook Road, near Harwood Golf Course, blocking the road to cars.
Amidst all the travel misery last night, was some fantastic community spirit, none more so than that displayed in Dunscar.
A tree which blocked Blackburn Road, Dunscar, near to the war memorial, was broken up by local scout leaders so the road reopened as soon as possible.
A reader, who did not leave their name, has thanked them with the message:
"Big thankyou to you guys and those with the chainsaws in getting us and the other traffic moving again so quickly!
"A good example of helping each other and the community out.
"I hope you manage to get some logs for your campfire."
POLICE CONFIRM NO WEATHER INJURIES
Greater Manchester Police received 1,766 calls between 3pm and 10pm yesterday, but have received no reports of any weather-related injuries in the region.
Most related to routine call-outs but there was a surge in complaints related to the weather, particularly an increase in road accidents.
Their busiest time was between 4pm and 7pm, when more than 800 calls were made to the control room.
Due to the high winds, road closures were enforced on sections of the M60 at Barton Bridge and Tameside to ensure the safety of motorists.
The majority of road closures were lifted about midnight.
The bad weather also forced the cancellation of the match at Manchester City FC's Ethiad stadium.
To date, Greater Manchester Police has not received any definitive reports of any serious injuries caused directly by the weather.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "Yesterday was a very challenging day for everyone in Greater Manchester - including ourselves as police officers, other emergency services and not least the people living and working in Manchester who were caught up in the gale force winds that hit the region.
"As a result, we saw a large surge in the number of 999 and 101 calls made to Greater Manchester Police asking for our assistance in dealing with weather-related incidents.
"I would firstly like to pay tribute to the officers and staff from all the emergency services who worked tirelessly throughout the evening to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe. To date, we have not received any reports of anyone suffering serious injuries as a direct result of the bad weather.
"I would also like to commend the patience shown by commuters caught up in long delays on our roads and public transport. Undoubtedly it was a very frustrating day for them but I hope they can understand that ensuring their safety is our number one priority and that is why we had to close certain roads.
"We have also seen the devastation caused by bad weather and flooding in other areas of the country and I’m sure people living in Manchester will be sending their thoughts and sympathies to those who have suffered so badly. While the weather is expected to be better today, I would urge motorists in Manchester to take extra care while driving until the adverse conditions completely subside."
GMP statement on their role in dealing with the weather havoc coming up...
Firefighers in Whitefield had to secure a roller shutter which was ripped off the front of a shop.
Crews from Whitefield secured the metal shutter at about 8pm after it was torn from the front of a business in Bury Old Road, Whitefield
Fortunately no pedestrians were passing at the time, with most people staying indoors in view of the high winds.
Chorley New Road in Horwich did not escape the disturbance, with a tree apparently falling in the road as commuters were driving home last night.
Commuters in Harwood were affected this morning after a tree blocked the road.
The tree is blocking Roading Brook Road, near Harwood Golf Course.
We are expecting to receive reports from the fire service and Bolton Council detailing exactly how busy they were in Bolton last night.
We'll let you know the details as soon as we have them.
If you see or hear of any damage caused by the storm, or have any pictures you would like to submit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The stretched fire service received about 230 calls between 5pm and 7pm last night, as the winds reached their peak.
Loose tiles and chimney stacks were the common concerns being reported - but there were some lucky escapes.
A tree came down on a car in Broadoak Road, Ashton, where passers-by helped the driver out. In Woodhouse Lane, Wythenshawe, a tree fell into the garden of a house, trapping the family inside.
The fire service urged as many people as possible, in non-emergency situations, to call local authority highways departments or builders instead to help them deal with the volume of calls.
Area Manager Pickstone added: "I'd like to thank everyone for their help as we deal with these weather related incidents.
"Our fire crews, officers and control room staff - along with other emergency services and partner organisations - are doing everything they can to keep the community safe."
A fascia sign on the Ladbrokes shop in Rishton Lane was blown off during the night.
Firefighters from Bolton Central attended at about 8pm and secured the sign, which had rested against a nearby parked van.
40mph limits have now been brought in on the M61 southbound between junction 4 at Farnworth and the M60 junction at the Swinton Interchange.
There were reports of severe delays on the M61 northbound this morning, between Bolton and Chorley following a police incident, but the traffic appears to have now eased.
The M60 anti-clockwise entry slip road at junction 11 Barton has been shut because of a broken down vehicle.
Commuters are warned to expect delays.
Staff at the Royal Bolton Hospital have been affected this morning after their 450-vehicle car park was closed.
Some bricks from the side of a boiler house were dislodged by the winds, with some falling as much as 12 metres.
Kitchener Road on the hospital site has been closed off.
A car was also damaged when
Nobody was hurt.
A Royal Bolton Hospital spokesman said:
“We’ve had some structural damage to a wall on the site of the boiler house. A lot of bricks came down from a 12 metre high wall. Kinlay Road on the hospital site is closed off and there is currently no access to the staff car park. This holds 450 cars. We’re working to provide access to this car park from the adjoining visitors’ car park.
“We are obviously thankful that no one was hurt.
"A car was also damaged after tiles fell from Musgrave House.”
Good morning all.
Last night was very hectic across Bolton, with countless reports of tiles being dislodged and bins and chimneys being blown over.
All three of the region's major motorways, the M6, M60 and M62, were closed at various points as Bolton was hit by "red" Met Office weather warning for high winds.
Trees were also blown over across Bolton, with the A666 blocked near Egerton by a fallen tree.
We will continue to provide updates throughout the morning.
If you see or hear of any damage or transport delays caused by the storm, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com