Weather causes chaos in Ribble Valley

St Leonard's Downham narrowly escaped damage. The tree blew down across the road rather than towards the church. It damaged a gatepost across the road, but no other substantial damage. Photo: ANDREW WHITEHEAD

St Leonard's Downham narrowly escaped damage. The tree blew down across the road rather than towards the church. It damaged a gatepost across the road, but no other substantial damage. Photo: ANDREW WHITEHEAD

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Gale force winds blasted the Ribble Valley last night – and more bad weather expected for today.

Local villages were affected with trees being blown down in Downham, blocking the main road into the village and forcing the closure of some of the village’s businesses, including Downham Pre-school. St Leonard’s Church in the village had a lucky escape as a tree toppled in the heavy winds.

This morning, commuters have faced delays as Howgill Lane, Gisburn, has been closed between its junction with the A682 and Martin Top Lane, because of a fallen tree.

Gales roared across the country from the Atlantic in a disappointing start to the great British summer. Gusts up to 78mph were recorded and many areas had heavy rain despite bookies slashing the odds on the country enjoying the hottest June on record.