Trees down as storm batters Redditch

By Connie Osborne 30/04 Updated: 03/05 14:26

Buy photos » Prospect Hill tree. Picture by Gemma Field. (s)

TREES were blown over, cars were crushed and homes were damaged by gale force winds which battered the borough over the weekend.

At least 25 trees were brought down across Redditch and 200 across the county as winds of up to 60mph were recorded in places during Saturday evening and into Sunday afternoon (April 29).

About 2.30pm on Sunday a large tree fell across Prospect Hill, blocking the road and causing damage to two cars on the forecourt of the Volvo showroom opposite.

Lynn Cook, who was working in the building at the time, told the Standard: "The wind was so loud all day. I heard this bang, but at first I thought it was just the wind on the roof.

"A couple of minutes later, three motorcycles were using the forecourt to bypass the road, which I thought was odd. I went outside to see what was going on and all you could see was the huge trunk blocking the road."

Police were called and the road was blocked off until the tree could be cleared to the sides of the road to allow traffic safely through.

Jim Matthews, owner of Reeves Tree Surgeons, was called to clear the scene and said he had received 68 calls on Sunday alone in the Redditch, Bromsgrove and Droitwich areas.

"I started work at 6.30am on Sunday morning and didn't finish until 10pm. Sunday was by far the worst day- it's been crazy," he said.

He added strong winds combined with heavy rainfall causing the ground to become soft had made it easier to uproot trees not securely in the ground.

Firefighters were called to remove a tree which fell against a house in Sutton Close in Winyates West as well as make a roof safe after tiles were lifted off a property off Bittel Farm Road in Alvechurch and secure a collapsed wall in Callow Hill Road in Alvechurch.

Buses also had to be diverted on Sunday afternoon due to a tree blocking the bus route on Church Hill Way. Numbers 57 and 58 were re-routed between 1.30pm and 7.30pm while Redditch Borough Council were called to clear branches from the road but services were running as usual as of Monday (April 30).

Trees were also reported to have fallen down between Kempsey Close and Hampton Close in Woodrow blocking a footpath, at the spinney behind the take away in Castleditch Lane in Oakenshaw, by the brook near to Birchensale Middle School, in Sambourne near Studley and Farnborough Close in Matchborough. A car was also smashed in Rowney Green Lane in Alvechurch.

Children at Matchborough First School were also left devastated after their greenhouse was smashed by a fallen tree.

A spokesman for Redditch Borough Council said they had received 359 calls to the out of hours team - an increase of more than 40 per cent on the previous Sunday and the majority of which were tree related.

West Mercia Police received reports of trees coming down, fallen electricity cables and a number of traffic incidents.

A spokesman for Western Power said there were more than 8,000 homes across the West Midlands affected over the weekend, with Worcestershire being one of the worst hit areas. He added staff had been drafted in from other areas to cope with demand.

Buses were also diverted on Sunday afternoon due to a tree blocking bus route on Church Hill Way. Numbers 57 and 58 were diverted between 1.30pm and 7.30pm while Redditch Borough Council had to clear the branches from off the road but services are running as usual as of Monday (April 30).

Buy photos» The tree which came down across Prospect Hill. Picture by Al Duffill (s)

Buy photos»

Buy photos» Tree uprooted in Sambourne. Picture by Janice Finnie (s)

Buy photos» The tree which fell against the house in Sutton Close. Picture by Keith Southam.

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