Storm force winds tear off hotel roof

Briardene Hotel
Briardene Hotel
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STORM-force winds have wreaked havoc in Cleveleys, ripping a roof off a hotel and sending it crashing into the road.

And the destruction did not stop there, with the hotel’s storage ‘header’ tank also blown out, causing water to pour into the upstairs landing and severing supply to the showers.

“There was a big crash and the roof was all in the street,” said Mr Heywood, who runs the three-star hotel.

“The gales whipped the whole roof off, about 50sq ft.

“It was a complete shock when someone said your roof is in the road.

“The water tank has gone and there’s been water going all the way through the hotel.

“It’s in a bit of a mess.

“The wind really was gale-force. It was scary, very scary. An awful lot of damage has been done.”

Fire crews were called to the hotel shortly after 11am.

Kelso Avenue was sealed off while fire crews they worked to make the hotel safe.

Tiles surrounding the edge of the hotel’s roof also blew off – with one flying across neighbouring Lauderdale Avenue with such force it hit Mr Heywood’s neighbour’s cast-iron drainpipe, cracking it.

“I heard the noise so I opened the door and looked out,” said the neighbour, who didn’t want to be named.

“It’s caught the door and it’s gone through the drainpipe. We thought it was our roof at first. It was horrendous, really a bit of a shock.”

Nobody was injured in the incident, but Mr Heywood has had to close the hotel while the damage is assessed.

“We had to book the guests out,” he said.

“I don’t know how long we will be shut for. The bedrooms are closed but the function suite will still be open.

“We just have to hope it stays sunny until they can sheet the roof. If it starts to rain we will be in big trouble because all the ceilings will cave in. But it’s been too windy for them to get up onto the roof.”

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We received reports the roof had blown off.

“We helped remove slates from the roof and make the area safe.”

Yesterday’s gales reached 60mph – rated as ‘storm force’.Winds are expected to drop today – down to an average of 10mph