Ain’t mighty pretty in the windy city

Colin Fowler with the sycamore tree which has crashed down in the high winds over the back gardens of 101 and 103 Standbridge Lane.
Colin Fowler with the sycamore tree which has crashed down in the high winds over the back gardens of 101 and 103 Standbridge Lane.

STRONG gales left a trail of destruction as they tore through the city this week.

Wakefield Council was inundated with calls from concerned residents who witnessed trees being uprooted and toppled over.

Tree officers made 85 visits as part of the chaos, which started on Sunday.

Lukily there were no reported injuries, although winds reached speeds of 50mph.

On Sunday, police reported one of the first incidents at around 4.30pm after a 20ft tree crashed across Birkwood Road near Roots Nurseries in Altofts.

Garden centre owner Sara Simpson said: “I saw a branch in the road and went to look and four police cars were already there.

“My husband Paul came out and used a JCB to drag the tree off the road, then used a chainsaw to chop it into bits to clear the pavement too. The road was closed for around half an hour.”

A huge sycamore was also blown over in to the back gardens of two properties in Standbridge Lane.

Marion Shaw said: “I have been here for 50 years and a tree has never fallen over in the winds. It is a huge sycamore and it crashed down across both gardens. Luckily it missed the sheds and nobody was hurt.”

The gales continued and intensified on Monday as the Met Office issued an Amber Alert for Wakefield.

Although no council trees blew over, most of the authority’s 60 calls were about breakages of small branches torn from trees.

Teams of street cleaners were also called into action to clear up the debris left behind and a council spokesman said they were still inspecting potentially dangerous trees.

An investigation is still ongoing after a tree branch from St Peter’s Church in Stanley hit a car carrying Elaine Davison during storms in November. She died of her injuries.