Clear-up under way after Storm Francis batters Shropshire and Mid Wales

Shropshire and Mid Wales were clearing up today after Storm Francis made its way across the region, leaving fords flooded and fallen trees blocking roads.

Storm Francis blew a tree across Gibbons Road in Trench. Photo: @Telford Cops.
Storm Francis blew a tree across Gibbons Road in Trench. Photo: @Telford Cops.

Wind and rain lashed much of the county overnight and a flood alert was still in place for the Severn Vyrnwy near Llanymynech and Oswestry well into today as the river levels rose.

The Environment Agency had 19 flood alerts in place across England at Wednesday lunchtime.

Cadw has closed Montgomery Castle until further notice because of a fallen tree and safety concerns following the storms. This includes the castle and its car park, grounds and paths.

Meanwhile in Telford, Storm Francis blew a tree across a road in Trench, temporarily blocking it from drivers.

The tree fell some time before 7.50pm on Tuesday, across Gibbons Road, south of Donnington. West Mercia Police said officers from Telford & Wrekin Council were aware and advised residents and motorists to avoid the area.

Telford Cops tweeted: "Please drive with caution. High winds have brought this tree down on Gibbons Road. I'm informed Telford & Wrekin Council is aware."

A large, fallen tree also blocked the B4202 near Mawley Oak Garage, Clow Tops Road, Cleobury Mortimer.

In Shrewsbury, a fallen tree was down on the canal path between Darville and Ditherington, completely blocking the way.

At Neen Savage ford in south Shropshire, the River Rea was rising as the water gushed through the space, leaving passers-by unable to pass. One onlooker said he saw a van turn around instead of going through the fast flowing waters.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service also had a busy night on Tuesday as they were called out to deal with the fallout of the recorded 54mph winds in Shropshire. At around 6pm on Tuesday, this wind speed was recorded at Shawbury and Shrewsbury.

The fire service were called to Roselyn in Shrewsbury at around 8pm to help secure a tree that had fallen and was leaning against a summerhouse.

Earlier that day, the team from Shrewsbury were sent to Port Hill Road, to reports of an unsecured gazebo which had blown over into a neighbouring garden. A team from Church Stretton were sent to Cross Bank at 1.50pm on Tuesday due to a cable making contact with trees due to high winds. The electricity company were informed and advice was given.

A flood alert was in force in the Oswestry area for the Severn Vyrnwy confluence and people are warned to be prepared.

The landslide which lead to the closure of the A5 between Bethesda and Betws-y-Coed in both directions. Picture: @TrafficWalesN

A landslide led to the closure of a busy tourist road in Wales on Wednesday. The A5 between Bethesda and Betws-y-Coed was closed in both directions due to a landslide where water, slush and rocks had come down from the hills onto the road.

Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales, saw gusts of 75mph, equalling the Welsh August gust record of the 75mph recorded at Milford Haven in August 1979.

The wettest place on Tuesday was Bethesda in north Wales where 101mm of rain was recorded.

South Wales Police said they were involved in two separate water searches from the swollen River Taff and fire crews had to rescue holidaymakers from a flooded campsite in the town of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after river levels rose in the area.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said nine people and two dogs were rescued by fire service personnel using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.

Crews also gave medical treatment to one man and evacuated 30 other people from a flooded caravan site in Wiseman's Bridge, Narberth, while 12 caravans were also removed from the site.

The UK is set for a bank holiday chill after Storm Francis, which saw gusts of 81mph hit The Needles near the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.

This is just short of the August record for the UK which was 87mph recorded in 1996.

Storm Francis, which hit just days after Storm Ellen struck, has cleared to the east of Britain but there still is “some disruptive weather” to get through on Wednesday to Friday before things become “settled but more chilly for the bank holiday weekend,” according to Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond.

Storm Ellen’s gales brought the highest ever share of wind power on the electricity system as wind turbines supplied 59.1% of Britain’s power on Saturday at 1am, according to National Grid ESO.

A spokesman said “it means that wind was contributing more than it has ever done to the electricity system at just shy of 60%”.

Meanwhile, the fire service in Northern Ireland said 37 people were rescued from flood water.

South Wales Police said they were involved in two separate water searches from the swollen River Taff and fire crews had to rescue holidaymakers from a flooded campsite in the town of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after river levels rose in the area.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said nine people and two dogs were rescued by fire service personnel using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.

Crews also gave medical treatment to one man and evacuated 30 other people from a flooded caravan site in Wiseman’s Bridge, Narberth, while 12 caravans were also removed from the site.

Ms Diamond said: “The latter part of August has been dominated by Storm Ellen and Storm Francis, both of which had wind warnings which is unusual for August, but then if you rewind to the beginning of the month, we had no wind at all.

“We had high temperatures, light winds and exceptional heat which lasted for about a week. It has been an interesting month, starting out with a hot summer and seeing its way out with more autumnal weather.”

Scotland is set for showers and lighter winds on Wednesday and will brighten up in the afternoon. Top temperatures in the sunshine could hit about 22C in southern England.

Showers are also expected for Northern Ireland, southern Scotland, northern England and south-west England plus parts of Wales on Thursday afternoon.

Dry weather is expected for central and eastern England and the far north of Scotland.

Ms Diamond said that daytime temperatures in the south of England could then reach highs of 18C or 14C in Scotland “which is cool for August but it will be pretty chilly overnight”.

By Friday night onwards, many places will struggle to get temperatures that are in the double digits, she added.

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