Chaos as storms batter South Glos

March 24 2020

STORM Ciara and Storm Dennis battered the Kingswood area on successive weekends last month, bringing down trees and fences and causing widespread flooding.

Chaos as storms batter South Glos

Council staff have been clearing felled trees Photo: South Glos Streetcare

STORM Ciara and Storm Dennis battered the Kingswood area on successive weekends last month, bringing down trees and fences and causing widespread flooding.

Fire crews and council workers were kept busy dealing with incidents and making areas safe.

One of the most dramatic was in Hanham, where a child had a lucky escape when a huge tree came crashing down on a block of flats in Hanham during Storm Dennis.

The branches of the beech tree smashed the window of the bedroom where the girl had been lying on her bed.

Fire fighters from Hicks Gate and Kingswood stations were called to the incident at Grange Court just before 7pm on Sunday February 16.

The tree had crushed a car which was parked outside the flats.

Residents were treated for minor injuries by paramedics with 16 people having to leave their homes until a structural engineer could assess the damage.

Hicks Gate Fire Station posted a photograph on Twitter of the child's bedroom with a smashed window and branches poking through into the room.

In response to a message asking if the child was ok, they replied: “She was laying on her bed playing on her phone at the time when the branch came through the window, thankfully and amazingly only a couple of small cuts.”

A spokesman for Avon Fire & Rescue said: “At 18:57, crews from Hicks Gate and Kingswood fire stations were mobilised to reports of a fallen tree. 

“On arrival, they found a tree had fallen on to a block of flats and damaged several windows. Crews searched the building and isolated the utilities. 

“Following discussions between police, fire, and ambulance, four properties were deemed unsafe until assessed by a structural engineer and 16 people were evacuated. 

“Ambulance crews treated two casualties on the scene for minor injuries and the property was left in the hands of police.  The Red Cross were also in attendance to assist with rehoming.”

A spokesman from South Western Ambulance Service said: “We were called on Sunday at 6.55pm about an incident at an address in Hanham, Bristol. 

"We sent land ambulance crews and specialist paramedics to attend the incident.”

The previous weekend, a tree blew down across the Avon Ring Road between the Bromley Heath and Wick Wick roundabouts, bringing traffic to a halt, on the morning of Sunday February 9.

Drivers came together to push the tree out of the way, clearing one lane so that traffic could start to move again and alerting the emergency services and council.

Lyde Green resident Lucy Lane, who helped clear the road, said: “Three men had pulled over trying to move it, but clearly needed help.

“Me and my partner pulled over behind their car past the tree, put our hazards on and got out to help. It’s a good thing I keep a high vis vest in the boot of my car! Seeing us stop several other cars, about 15 people, did the same and got out to help.We could only manage to clear one lane but traffic was up and moving again. ”

Another tree came down in Mangotsfield, narrowly missing the Dame School building in the park on the corner of St James Street and Richmond Road.

South Gloucestershire Council received a total of 28 emergency calls relating to fallen trees before 10am on Sunday February 9, with extra emergency teams deployed to tackle hazards. 

The following weekend it received 39 emergency requests, including reports of 19 fallen trees and 13 floods.