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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Met Office predicting 'severe' winds for Cumbria

Falling trees caused traffic tailbacks, damaged a car and closed a popular tourist attraction as Cumbria was battered by stormy weather.

Road closed sign photo
Police closed the A595 road

Winds of up to 60 miles per hour hit the county at the weekend, causing dangerous conditions for motorists.

And the Met Office has warned gales will return to the county later this week, with “severe” wind predicted on Wednesday, followed by more on Friday.

Over the weekend, the A595 at Jenkin Cross, Wigton, was closed for around three hours on Saturday after a tree was blown down.

The shut stretch was between Thursby roundabout and the road’s junction with the B5305 and drivers were diverted onto the A596 while the tree was cleared.

The stretch was closed from just before 3pm to just after 6pm.

Trees also blew onto the B5305 at Sedbergh and A596 at Ellerbank, partially blocking the roads but not closing them.

Also on Saturday night, the A66 was closed to high-sided vehicles because of the strong wind and motorists were advised to drive carefully on the A594 at Dovenby due to flooding.

Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick, was forced to close because of the bad weather and safety fears after branches came down, one striking a parked car.

A spokesman for the Forestry Commission told the News & Star: “The safety of visitors,our staff and contractors working in the public forests in our care is our priority.

“Because of the high winds, which were causing branches to fall, we activated our severe-weather procedure and temporarily closed Whinlatter Forest to visitors at 2.30pm.”

He said one branch fell onto a car but no-one had been injured.

The forest reopened to visitors yesterday.

In Harrington, coastguard officials and police were called out to reports of a car stranded on the pier by high waves. By the time they got out, at 8.45pm on Saturday, the driver had managed to get to safety.

Last night, the county was issued with flood warnings by the Environment Agency, which remained in force this morning. They affected: the River Caldew and Petteril, the River Eden, the Upper Derwent from Seathwaite to Derwent Water and rivers Brathay, Rothay and Winster in south Cumbria.

The wind had returned this morning, with motorists on the M6 given a limit of 50mph between Penrith and Kendal.

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