Chaos as Mansfield and Ashfield battered by winds

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Strong winds have battered the Mansfield and Ashfield areas today with gusts of up to 80mph reported in some areas.

The Environment Agency has issued an Amber Weather Warning for the area and is advising residents and commuters to be prepared for significant disruption.

Emergency services said there had been no major incidents as a result of the harsh weather conditions but firefighters said they had been busy dealing with reports of power failures caused by the strong winds.

Trading at Mansfield’s West Gate had to be abandoned after market stalls collapsed and Chad readers called to say they had been narrowly missed by a falling lamp post in Pleasley Hill.

Mike Robinson, head of regeneration, leisure and marketing at Mansfield District Council, said: “The severe high winds we are currently experiencing have caused a number of the wooden market stalls on West Gate to collapse.

“The stalls have been rebuilt and the canopies have been removed. After mutual agreement, the traders operating on West Gate have now finished trading for today. However, the main market is still trading.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and will take a decision later today about whether it is safe to leave the stalls up on West Gate overnight.

“If we have any doubt at that point, we will dismantle the market stalls which will mean we will have to cancel Westgate market tomorrow but it will run as usual on Saturday.

“If this happens, additional space will be made available on the main market for traders tomorrow, whilst rebuilding of the Westgate market takes place.”

The authority later confirmed that it would be business as usual at West Gate tomorrow after the strong winds died down.

Nottinghamshire County Council closed Rufford Country Park at 12.30pm today due to fallen trees but nearby Sherwood Forest was kept open as none of the trees that fell at the sight were near to visitor areas, a spokesman said.

Paul Cook, assistant site manager at Sherwood forest, said that at present the forest will remain open – unless the weather further deteriorates this afternoon. Warning signs for the public will remain in place to take care in the high winds.

Linda Hardy, visitor services manager at Rufford Country Park, said: “We have assessed the situation and in the interests of public safety have made a decision to close the park this afternoon while the worst of the storms are forecast, so that we can re-open again in the morning and prepare in advance for the Aurora Illuminations display which is due to start tomorrow evening.”

It is expected that Rufford will be open for the start of its Aurora Winter Illuminations on Friday evening.

There were also reports that a falling tree narrowly missed a family visiting the Center Parcs resort earlier today.

The county council reported numerous incidents of trees blown down around Mansfield and Ashfield, including on Paulsons Drive, in Mansfield, where a tree fell into the entrance of a private carpark, blocking vehicles inside.

In Mansfield staff from the authority dealt with fallen trees and lamp posts in Meden Bank, Tedburn Drive, Chesterfield Road North, Clipstone Road West, Tedburn Drive and Bowling Street.

Elsewhere, the authority also attended incidents on Common Road and Market Place, Huthwaite, Bishop Street, Lime Street, Pavillion Gardens and Outram Street, Sutton, as well as Sherwood Street in Warsop, Derby Road in Annesley and Main Street in Ollerton.

There were also reports of fallen trees in Broomhill Road, Hucknall, where a tree had blocked the road close to a school, as well as other incidents in Sherwood Street and Portland Street, Hucknall.

The owner of a property in Market Street Huthwaite told Chad that a lamp post had crashed through a fence onto his front garden ‘like a UFO falling from the sky.”

PICTURED: Wind causes chaos on Mansfield’s West Gate earlier today, a demolished shed in Winster Way and a tree which narrowly missed a car in Annesley.