May 25 2011 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Wednesday
Lucky escapes after weather chaos
HEAVY rain and high winds wreaked havoc throughout the region last week.
Emergency services were called to deal with a string of incidents, mainly caused by falling trees and other debris.
Firefighters were called to Stirling’s Albert Place, the city’s Greenwood Avenue and the B824 near Dunblane, among others, after motorists were trapped in their vehicles.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said no serious injuries were reported.
She said appliances were also dispatched to Bannockburn Road, St Ninians; Barnwell Drive, Balfron; Alexander McLeod Place, Fallin; and Craigview in Sauchie; after reports of trees falling into houses and other properties.
She said: “It was a very busy time for the fire service, particularly from the morning going into the afternoon, as we were called to a high number of incidents, mostly regarding calls involving problems with fallen trees, which we assisted in moving.
“Fortunately, we received no reports of any serious injuries, unlike in other parts of the country.”
There were also problems in several other areas, including Stirling’s Kings Park and Pistolmakers’ Row in Doune, although the emergency services were not called.
An ambulance and a lorry were involved in a collision on the A9 southbound, near Balhaldie. There were no reported injuries but the road was closed for three hours in the afternoon to allow the area to be cleared.
Trees also came down on the level crossing at Blackgrange in Clackmannanshire and other items, including a trampoline, were blown into woodland on the A84 near Blairdrummond.
Four cars and the roof of Bridge of Allan police station were damaged in Henderson Street when two trees were brought down by the wind.
Staff from Stirling Council were also on alert as power supplies to homes, schools and businesses were interrupted, and phone lines were damaged.
A spokesperson for the local authority said children at East Plean Primary School were given the day off yesterday (Tuesday) as two trees near the building were deemed dangerous and there had been problems with electricity supply.
Deanston and Buchanan Primaries were also closed due to power cuts, as was Doune Nursery.
The council representative continued: “Our housing service reported no major problems with our stock, although there were several issues, such as the power network being affected by the storms.
“Doune, Deanston, Throsk and Drymen were most readily affected. We’re working closely with Scottish Power Energy Networks and Scottish Hydro in order to repair the damage.”
A police spokeswoman said they received approximately 200 calls between 9am and 4pm as weather continued to cause problems, particularly for motorists and those using buses and trains.
She said police normally expect to recieve in the region of 300 calls in a 24-hour period.
Chief Inspector Bob Beaton, the depute area commander for Stirling, said: “The support and help we received from members of the public was exceptional.
“Without their help roads would have been blocked for longer. Farmers even came out in their tractors to help pull trees out of the way so that roads could be cleared.
“Despite the atrocious conditions, people were very public-spirited and I thank them for helping my officers, who had a very difficult job to do.”
Stirling Council’s roads chief Les Goodfellow said local authority staff worked through the night to clear as much debris as possible across the region, including one huge tree that nearly hit the Rob Roy statue near Stirling’s Albert Halls.
He said: “We have received in excess of 300 requests for assistance related to fallen trees and related debris.
“We had 20 manual workers working throughout the night to clear 30 fallen trees which had blocked public roads.”