Alarm and mayhem as Storm Doris rips through Melton

Sarah's Robb's heavily damaged car after a tree crashed down on to it while she was driving in Syston during Storm Doris EMN-170227-164430001
Sarah's Robb's heavily damaged car after a tree crashed down on to it while she was driving in Syston during Storm Doris EMN-170227-164430001
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Falling trees and other debris caused mayhem across Melton when Storm Doris ripped through the borough.

Homes, business properties, cars and public transport services were battered with winds of up to 60mph on Thursday.

Passengers escaped injury when a tree crashed down on to a packed train near Frisby at the height of Storm Doris.

The train was en route from Leicester to Melton when the driver was forced to slam on the brakes.

A Melton resident, who declined to be named, was travelling home from work when the drama unfolded shortly after 2.30pm on Thursday.

She said: “We were tootling along when all of a sudden we heard this loud noise which sounded like turbulence on an aircraft.

“The lady who was collecting tickets announced that we had been hit by a tree.

“I went outside to have a look and a tree with a trunk the diameter of a dinner plate had come down and wedged itself between the second and third carriage.”

The line was immediately closed and passengers had to wait more than an hour for Network Rail to send a team to remove the tree, which was chopped up into sections to make it easier to take away.

Most train journeys were stopped at Leicester because of the dangerous high winds but cross country services such as the Melton route were allowed to go ahead.

The woman, who is a financial accountant, had already had to wait at Leicester station for more than an hour before the train set off because of the stormy weather.

“It was quite scary when the tree came down because the train shook and we didn’t know at first whether it had sit something at the front and injured the driver.

“While we waited for the tree to be removed the carriage was rocking side to side because the wind was so strong.”

A motorist was alarmed when a tree came smashing down on her vehicle and went through her windscreen while she was driving in Syston en route to her new home in Melton.

Sarah Robb was relieved not to be badly injured in the incident, which left her company BMW so badly damaged on the roof and bonnet it is expected to be a write-off.

Mrs Robb was driving at only 5mph on Upper Church Street after leaving the property she was renting. She recalled: “I heard this massive bang. At first I thought I had hit a parked car but then I noticed the tree and my shattered windscreen. A massive branch had also come through on to the dashboard. I consider myself to be a very lucky lady and I was thankful I was inside the car because the tree was taller than a standard house.”

A tree crashed down on a bungalow at Long Clawson, damaging the roof of the property and shaking up the woman who was inside at the time.

A reader captured the aftermath of the incident with a photograph as he went to check on the occupants.

He said: “The tree hit the bungalow and damaged roof tiles. It also brought the phone lines down. There was a lady in the property at the time. She was a bit taken aback by it but she seemed fine when I went to see her.”

The entrance to a busy Melton town centre car park was closed off after the stormy weather caused slates to fly off roofs, damaging one of the parked cars.

The attendant at the King’s Head pub in Nottingham Street was alarmed when he heard the sound of debris coming off the roof.

He then noticed a window of one of the parked cars had been smashed as winds whipped up to around 60mph in the town.

Nathan Hobill, who takes the money from parkers, said he closed off the entrance to the car park because it wasn’t safe to walk or drive near to the pub building.

He said: “I was inside when I heard this massive bang.

“I thought there had been an accident at first.

“Then I came out and saw the debris from loads of slates coming down off the roof.”

Nathan used beer garden tables and ropes to prevent drivers coming in from Nottingham Street - a gate at the rear has been opened to allow access.

He added: “About 45 minutes after the first debris I then heard another loud noise.

“I came out and was gobsmacked to see the smashed window in the car.

“The owner hasn’t come back for the car yet so they will be in for a shock.”

Householders in Melton had furniture and equipment blown around their gardens.

In Tamar Road in the town, Thomas Agnew saw a trampoline swept up and damaged in the strong winds and a wooden fence came down.

There were reports of trees falling and blocking road on the A46 close to Six Hills, on the Oakham road near Tilton and on Broughton Hill near the Long Clawson turning.