Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Driver killed as gales sweep UK

The stump of a tree uprooted by high winds on the A458 Bridgnorth Road near Stourton, south Staffordshire

A motorist has been killed on a rural road as his car was struck by a tree uprooted by high winds.

The 51-year-old man, who has not yet been named, was driving a Mercedes Vaneo on the A458 Bridgnorth Road near Stourton, south Staffordshire, at about 11.30pm on Thursday night when the incident occurred.

It came as gale-force winds hit vast parts of the country, with gusts of up to 90mph blowing down trees and tearing roofs from buildings in Scotland.

In exposed mountain areas, wind speeds broke 115mph. The Met Office said its calculator at the top of the Cairngorms, which shuts down at this speed, went out of action for four hours.

In one incident in Glasgow, firefighters had to remove a metal railing which was hanging dangerously from a tenement building, and a driver was cut free from his overturned car on the M73 in North Lanarkshire.

Central Scotland Police reported around 15 trees down in the force area.

In Shetland - where gusts reached 93mph at 10pm on Thursday - coastguards had to help secure a 25-metre fishing boat that broke free from its moorings.

At the other end of the Scotland, 50 people were evacuated from their homes after part of the roof blew off a block of flats in Dumfries and Galloway.

Forecasters said the north can expect further stormy weather and winds of up to 85mph on Friday night.

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