Storms lashed Ribble Valley

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Gale force winds gusting up to 80 mph and even stronger on high ground and exposed areas caused damage across Ribble Valley overnight between Wednesday and Thursday.

Reports are coming in of a tree haven been blown into a house in Whalley, but we understand that although there were people in the house at the time, no-one was hurt.

In Clayton-le-Moors a driver collided with a tree which crashed down into the road in front of her. Although the car was extensiveley damaged, its airbag deployed and the female driver was not seriously injured. The road was closed for a time while the damaged car and tree were cleared away.

In Clitheroe there was damage to the gable end of a property in Chatburn Road, and the contractors working on Clitheroe Library responded quickly to an emergency callout when large sheets attached to scaffolding became loose and in danger of being torn free.

Ribble Valley Borough Council staff activated their emergency protocols and staffed their control centre due to the severe weather. It deal with numerous reports of storm related damage, mostly from fallen trees and tree branches, but thankfully no injuries. Several minor roads and private access roads were temporarily closed while workmen cleared away fallen branches and other debris. Building inspectors were called out to five reports of dangerous properties to make sure they were secure.

There were also reports of damage to roofs and, in some case, slates hitting cars. It is understood that some homes in the Grinddleton area were without electricity for a time due to damage to overhead power lines.

With more severe weather forecast over the next 48 hours, people are being advised to take all possible precautions. In particular, anything loose and in danger of being blown away in strong winds should be moved indoors or otherwise secured. The official advice from the Met Office on what to do before and during a storm includes:

Before a storm.

Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them.

Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages.

Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences.

Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30°.

If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them.

During the storm.

Stay indoors as much as possible.

If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees.

Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences — if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side.

Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress.

If possible, enter and leave your house through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you.

Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you.

Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges, or high open roads, delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible.

Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or are a high sided vehicle.

Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary.