Weather and travel update: Fallen tree pins pensioner to chair in care home

Tens of thousands of homes remain without power after Britain was battered by more treacherous weather conditions and gusts of over 100mph.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 13th February 2014, 6:45 am
Riverhead Nursing Home in Driffield, where a woman was trapped by a falling tree. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Riverhead Nursing Home in Driffield, where a woman was trapped by a falling tree. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Some 80,000 households remain without electricity, with Wales the worst affected by the “Wild Wednesday” storms, the Energy Networks Association said.

The storms left one man dead and hundreds stranded as winds of up to 108mph stopped trains in their tracks, blew roofs off stations and closed major transport links

A 70-year-old woman was trapped by a falling tree when it crashed through the roof of a care home and pinned her to a chair.

An overturned lorry on the A640 heading towards Oldham. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The woman was watching TV at Riverhead nursing home in Driffield, when the 200 year-old beech tree tore through the wall, with the V-shaped boughs landing either side of her. She escaped unscathed.

The storms wrought havic with the transport system in Leeds and across Yorkshire. One of the main routes into Leeds, the A660 Headingley Lane in Headingley, was closed in both directions this morning between the Richmond Road junction and The Hyde Park Traffic Lights, because of a fallen tree.

Train services remain badly affected, with services cancelled despite Network Rail saying it had deployed teams of workers overnight to repair damage to overhead power lines.

The said disruption would continue “until further notice” on East Coast and Northern Rail trains between Leeds and Wakefield Westgate/Doncaster because of an overhead wire problem near Fitzwilliam.

A lorry overturning on the M62 motorway at Scammoden water in West Yorkshire between Junction 22-23 Westbound. Picture: Colette Nuttall/PA Wire

East Coast, CrossCountry and First TransPennine Express services between Darlington and York may be delayed because of overhead wire problems between these stations. The line is blocked in one direction.

Last night the Bridgewater Place road junction in Leeds was shut to traffic from 5pm.

Pedestrians were told that they would also be directed away from the junction.

The council said the closure decision had been taken due to predicted wind speeds in Leeds city centre of up to 60mph.


Elsewhere, drivers and bus passengers on Headingley Lane faced mayhem due to a fallen tree between Richmond Avenue and Hyde Park Corner.

There were long delays on the M62 after a lorry overturned at Scammonden, near Huddersfield. And train services across the county were decimated, with none running at all to Ilkley or Skipton for much of the evening and delays on South Yorkshire lines around Barnsley.

In Morley, police were called after a container carrying furniture became separated from a lorry in Asquith Avenue.

There were also reports of power lines coming down near the Stansfield Arms pub in Apperley Bridge.

Flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow were cancelled.

On the trains, overhead wire problems caused disruption to evening rush-hour services between Leeds and Ilkley.

Skating was suspended at the outdoor Ice Cube rink in Leeds city centre’s Millennium Square.

Gusts of nearly 80mph were reported at Emley Moor shortly after 6pm.

Fire chiefs in West Yorkshire appealed for people to secure items such as garden furniture and trampolines ahead of the weather onslaught.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s assistant chief fire officer Dave Walton said: “The public can do their bit to keep everyone safe by ensuring these items are stowed away or properly tied down in high winds.

“We have had incidents in the past where trampolines have been blocking roadways and it can cause traffic havoc.

“In high winds also please take that extra bit of care when driving and consider whether your journey really is essential.”

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for Yorkshire and Humberside, saying: “The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption to transport and possibly also power supplies. In addition, large waves are likely to affect some coasts.”

Several accidents have been caused by the ‘wind-tunnel’ effect that can grip the area around the base of the Bridgewater Place skyscraper on stormy days.