Town left counting the costs

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Homes, businesses and schools are counting the cost of the gale force winds that battered the region on Thursday,

Gusts of upto 90mph in some places wreaked havoc causing major traffic tailbacks, overturning vehicles, knocking down trees and damaging property.

One of those worst affected was The Hayfield School in Auckley which was closed after huge sections of its roof came loose.

A spokesman at the 1,200 pupil school said yesterday: “We are currently closed to teaching staff and students, we’ve got a skeleton amount of admin staff and the senior leadership team in.

“We’re assessing the damage at the moment and the headteacher is with the structural engineer.”

It could not be confirmed when the school would reopen.

Doncaster Council reported receiving over 1,000 calls from concerned residents to its customer contact centre.

Its workers dealt with 32 incidents involving dangerous structures - even its own Cast theatre being cordoned off - and 30 involving trees which were affecting the highways network.

Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment, said: “Thursday was very busy for Doncaster Council and we worked closely with partners across the borough to keep the borough moving as much as possible.

“The council opened its emergency control centre at the Civic Office to co-ordinate the multi-agency response to the weather. Thankfully, at this point in time, we are not aware of any serious injuries from the high winds in Doncaster.”

Control room staff at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were kept busy for most of the day with 999 calls relating to the weather.

A spokesman said: “Sheffield and Doncaster areas were worst hit with fire engines and officers being called to a number of incidents including trees falling onto buildings, roofs in a dangerous condition and lorries being blown over.”