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Windy Leeds: Storm causes structural damage to buildings

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  • by Rob Parsons
 

Gales force winds caused structural damage buildings around Leeds.

Bramley Shopping Centre was one of a number of sites across the city where gales have forced officials to take precautions to stop passers-by being injured.

Leeds city Council announced this morning that the German Market in Millennium Square and the bird garden at Lotherton Hall will be closed today due to the high winds.

The closure of the junction near the Bridgewater Place tower, where a man was killed in 2011 after a lorry was blown onto him, caused major delays for traffic coming into the city centre.

Trinity Leeds shopping centre is believed to have been damaged while the roof of the Leeds Grand Mosque in the Hyde Park was blown off by high winds.

Firefighters said this morning that between 75 and 100 homes near Bramley Shopping Centre were being evacuated due to an unsafe roof, before later cancelling the move.

Stephen McBarron, 49, a Bramley resident who lives adjacent to the shopping centre, said the whole area was evacuated and cordoned off after a wall above the site’s Tesco supermarket collapsed.

He said: “It is quite frightening when the police come and say we may be evacuated because the roof could collapse.”

The Met Office has issued an ‘amber warning’, which will be in place until 4pm today across the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Motorists are being urged to take extra care as winds gust up to 80mph across the region and rivers of high-sided vehicles in particular are advised to avoid exposed routes and bridges.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attended 16 incidents relating to dangerous structures today as well as three incidents relating to falling trees in the first few hours of the day.

Twelve of the dangerous structure incidents have been in Leeds, two in Wakefield, one in Calderdale and one in Boston Spa.One fallen tree incident was in Leeds and two in Wakefield.

Ian Bitcon, area manager for fire safety, said: “We are receiving a lot of weather-related calls this morning and urge people to take precautions during today whilst winds are high.“Please only make journeys where absolutely necessary and ensure your property, including wheelie bins and outdoor structures, are secure. Look after neighbours and the elderly to help keep everyone in the community safe.”

 

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