News | Gale-force winds cause damage on campus

News | Gale-force winds cause damage on campus

Students in Leeds may have been feeling under the weather today as gale-force winds caused mass disruption in many areas of the city.

At midday winds reached 30 mph, while at their maximum strength gusts reached up to 80mph.

Campus felt the full force of the weather, with the front entrance door to the Roger Stevens building being torn from its hinges during the course of the morning. One on-looker said: “This must have happened during my lecture, we thought we heard a funny noise.” The bike stand outside Roger Stevens was also overturned, but LS understands that no bicycles were damaged.

LS has also received student accounts of tiles falling from the roof of the Emmanuel Centre. One student described the commotion as “so scary!”

The wind also caused havoc at several University Halls of Residence. Residents at Devonshire Hall woke up to discover their windows had been smashed (pictured below).

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A spokesperson for the University elaborated on the safety procedures taken during the storm, saying: “As a response to the extreme winds, the University took several actions to mitigate damage and protect students, staff, contractors and visitors to campus. This included restricting access to scaffolding and working in high/exposed places, cordoning off an area of St George’s Field, and re-directing pedestrians away from a footpath adjacent to the Emmanuel Centre. Fume cupboards in the School of Geography were also turned off, and the fume extract chimneys battened down and secured.”

Students living in residential areas were also subjected to the extreme weather conditions. One second-year Hyde Park resident told LS how her fence had been torn down, saying: “Hopefully we’ll be able to get it repaired tonight.”

Another Hyde Park resident studying English Language and Literature had her kitchen window smashed by the gales overnight. She told LS: “The landlord sent someone over today to secure it, but it’s still broken, just no longer letting the elements in.” She added: “Everything that was in range of the window got soaked.”

Many other students reported having their windows smashed. One second-year student told how their top-floor window “blew straight clean off” at around 6am. The resident went on to say: “We called an emergency number given by the rental company and the guy who answered was not happy to be woken up by us ringing. But then our actual landlord got back to us and was really helpful after e-mailing them. We found remnants of the window all over the street and a big pile of glass where the pane smashed into the wall, about 500 yards away.”

Students also took to Twitter to sound off about the strong winds. @joeypalmer_1 tweeted: “Our bin blew into next doors back car window lol, fucking hell this wind is bad in leeds.”

The stormy weather also caused structural damage across many other areas of the city, including the Leeds Grand Mosque, which had its roof completely detached (pictured below).

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The Trinity Leeds shopping centre also took some damage. A correspondent from the Yorkshire Post tweeted: “The wind has also blown cladding loose from the side of the Trinity Leeds (@TrinityLeeds) shopping centre – no-one was hurt…”

The devastation wrecked by the wind also extended to Leeds Met, who had to cancel their planned “Puppy Room” which was due to run from 12-3 in their Student’s Union. The official Leeds Met Twitter account posted this apology: “Hey guys, with the weather in Leeds today, the puppies can’t make it. We’re so, so sorry for the disappointment & inconvenience.”

Sean Hayes

photos: @BrynRees, Sean Hayes, Charlotte Mason

How were you affected by the storm? Share your stories in the comments section below.

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