Power cuts, fallen trees and trains cancelled: Storm Arwen causes havoc in Shropshire

Trains were cancelled and roads closed as fallen trees caused havoc in Shropshire after Storm Arwen.

Tree down in Telford. Pic: Telford Cops
Tree down in Telford. Pic: Telford Cops

A tree hit a train between the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton line on Saturday, causing damage to the carriage and stopping services.

Police across the county reported road closures due to fallen trees or debris in the road.

Homes were also left without power in parts of Shropshire.

Tree on a carriage between the Shrewsbury-Wolverhampton line. Pic: Birmingham New Street Station

Western Power Distribution said there had been power cuts in Shrewsbury and Telford, and they worked through Friday night to resolve issues.

In North Wales, ITV were forced to pre-record Friday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! amid concerns, including that poor weather would meddle with the broadcast around Gwrych Castle.

Since then, ITV has announced the stars of the show have been removed from the castle while work is carried out to get the production base back up and running after suffering technical issues due to the extreme weather.

Ludlow's Medieval Christmas Fayre, usually held in the grounds of Ludlow Castle, was cancelled due to the bad weather causing damage.

Train services were disrupted across the Midlands with trees falling on tracks or power cables, and even on trains themselves.

A fallen tree in Chirk cemetery this morning

A carriage on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury line was hit by a falling tree near Codsall on Saturday.

Rail replacement services were in place for the line between Shrewsbury, Telford and Wolverhampton and valid train tickets were being accepted.

West Midlands Railway said: "Very limited road transport is operating and there's currently no estimate for the line to reopen."

Transport for Wales warned people not to travel due to the volume of incidents across their rail network and suspended all trains.

A Twitter update said: "Severe weather in Wales means that speed restrictions and line blocks may be in place.

The road from Montgomery to Garthmyl was closed due to a fallen tree

"We have suspended trains on all our routes, and are advising customers not to travel at present. This will be reviewed at 12:00pm.

"With so many separate incidents @networkrail advise it will take some time for their teams to attend all incidents of trees blocking the line.

"We advise passengers not to travel as many roads are also closed due to fallen trees & emergency road transport is not a safe option."

Gusts of up to 60mph reached Shawbury overnight from Friday into Saturday, with gusts between 55-65mph across the rest of the county.

Police in Telford said they had been dealing with crashes and incidents caused by Storm Arwen.

They advised people to avoid travelling during high winds if possible, and warned of a large fallen tree in Donnington.

Telford Cops said: "If you’re wondering how windy it is outside, it’s this windy!

"Massive tree down on St Georges Rd Donnington blocking the road, one of several down across #Telford.

"If you absolutely have to go out drive careful, we’ve already seen RTCs as a result of downed trees."

Strong gales affected the riverside in Shrewsbury

Organisers of a popular event in Ludlow Castle – the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre – had to cancel due to damage caused by the storm.

Abi and Prue Dakin, the organisers, said it was with a "heavy heart" they had to cancel.

In a statement, they said: "There has been too much damage on site for us to be able to make the event safe for visitors, exhibitors, performers and staff.

"We need today to manage the situation here at the Castle and to support our exhibitors who have been affected by the storm damage.

"On Monday we will email all ticket holders with an update. If you can please bear with us on that. We are a small, family businesses and need to be here on site to recover what we can.

"Thank you for all your well wishes and words of support. It means so much to us."

Meanwhile, Ludlow's Christmas lights switch-on event, meant to take place on Saturday evening, was also cancelled.

A statement from Ludlow Town Council said: "We are very sorry to say that the Christmas Lights switch-on event and visit from Santa will not take place today.

"Ludlow’s lights will be twinkling by this evening – and Santa is checking his busy diary – and we will announce an alternative date as soon as possible.

"Sorry for the disappointment. Stay safe today."

Police issued warnings to avoid many roads across the county. This included the A458 from Sytch House Green to Broad Oak Wood Junction, Wooton, which was partially blocked due to a tree down.

People were also asked to avoid Brockton, Shifnal due to reports of power cables down.

The A528 Ellesmere Road in Shrewsbury was also blocked and a tree had fallen on the A458 Bridgnorth Road at Shipley.

Whitcliffe Road in Ludlow was blocked due to a fallen tree and the A49 Battlefield Island to Hadnell in Shrewsbury.

In north Shropshire, the Ellesmere to Oswestry Road was blocked by a tree at the Newnes outside of Ellesmere.

One of north Shropshire's parliamentary candidates encouraged residents to help their neighbours.

Helen Morgan and Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney MP reporting trees on the roadside of Ellesmere

Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat candidate for the North Shropshire by-election, called for people across the constituency to help their local communities.

Helen also called on residents to make sure health hazards such as fallen trees were reported to the council so they could be dealt with over the weekend.

She went out with visiting Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Sarah Olney MP on Saturday morning reporting incidents involving trees and branches.

She said: "On Saturday morning my drive in Harmer Hill was blocked and had to be cleared; I’m sure dozens of people had the same issues as bad weather hit our area.

“One of the best things about our local communities is how they stick together in times of hardship.

“As Storm Arwen wreaks havoc, I’m calling on residents across our villages and towns to look out for each other, help our neighbours, and provide support to the most vulnerable who may not be able to get out this weekend."

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