Blackpool lights and other landmarks hit by storm winds

Damaged illuminations
Image caption Blackpool's Illuminations were badly damaged

Some of Lancashire's best-known sights have been damaged by overnight storms which struck the county.

Strong winds destroyed sections of the Blackpool Illuminations, ripped a sail off Lytham windmill and blew the dome off Darwen Tower.

Blackpool Promenade was closed after gusting winds of up to 100mph (160km/h) hit the front, the council said.

The tower complex was also cordoned off because of loose sheeting around its refurbishment site.

Protective sheeting currently surrounds the top of the tower ahead of restoration work, due to get under way next week.

Blackpool Council said the tableaux in the north of the Illuminations took the brunt of the winds, causing damage estimated to cost £1m.

Image caption The dome was blown off Darwen Tower

Alan Cavill, of Blackpool Council, said the storms were the worst the resort had seen since the early 1990s.

"Usually the Illuminations are designed to be robust during high winds but unfortunately not quite this high.

'Some lost forever'

"The ones we have mostly lost have been the kiddies nursery rhymes and children's ones.

"Some of them are going to be lost forever unfortunately."

Elsewhere in Lancashire, power cables and trees were blown down in Adlington, and the fibre glass dome came off Darwen tower.

About 40 weather-related incidents were reported to the fire service.

Of those calls, crews from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service attended about 22 incidents overnight.

Spokesman John Taylor said the majority of calls were for making buildings, signs and hoardings safe.

"In this age of renewable energy, we had a wind turbine on a farm at Scarisbrick that got a bit too enthusiastic, and got out of control," he told the BBC.

"Our fire control section... were in touch with the manufacturers to give us some pretty detailed technical advice as to how to contain that out of control windmill.

"The risk is, the fear is, that something will break loose and obviously hit somebody or a passing vehicle and cause a worse accident, so it's a case of ensuring that doesn't happen."

There have been no reports of any injuries.

One Darwen resident, who gave her name as Eileen, contacted BBC Radio Lancashire to report a disappeared landmark.

"My son opened the curtains, I mean we look at Darwen Tower every morning, and the dome's disappeared - it must have been blown off," she said.

High winds and torrential rain caused damage and disruption across the north of England.

The worst hit areas have been the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber region, with gusts of 80mph (129km/h).

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites