England

Storm Ciara: Storm rips hole in Shrewsbury Abbey roof

Damage to Shrewsbury Abbey Image copyright Revd Dr Tom Atfield
Image caption Shrewsbury Abbey has undergone a much-needed restoration in recent years

High winds from Storm Ciara have ripped a 10ft (3m) hole in the roof of Shrewsbury Abbey.

Heavy rain and gusts up to 97mph caused widespread flooding and travel disruption on Sunday.

Revd Dr Tom Atfield, the vicar of the abbey, said the wind picked up tiles from the roof and "embedded" them into the graveyard.

Elsewhere, fallen trees have caused problems on the railways and damaged cars across the Midlands.

Mr Atfield said morning prayers were being said at 08:30 when they heard a "colossal bang" as tiles were "torn" from the roof.

He said the abbey was insured but would take "a while" to repair.

"We are just happy no one was hurt and all will be well in the course of time," he said.

The felt was also blown from the roof of Shrewsbury Food Hub, a charity which collects surplus food from supermarkets, which has left it unable to operate.

Katie Anderson, from the hub, said: "It flipped onto one of the neighbouring house roofs and fell into their garden.

"Thank goodness nobody was hurt."

Image copyright Marc Howard
Image caption Mr Howard said the damage could have been "a lot worse"

Further rainfall is forecast over the next 24 hours, said the Environment Agency.

Three flood warnings were in place across the West Midlands on Monday morning, as well as a string of less serious flood alerts.

Shropshire Council said Shrewsbury's Frankwell car park had been closed and that it was monitoring the situation at St Julian's Friars car park.

Image copyright Liam Sawyer
Image caption The fallen tree in Balsall Common, Solihull only caused minor damage

Marc Howard, from Moseley, said his car had been written off after it was hit by a falling tree.

"We were asleep and got woken up at 05:30 in the morning, by a next door neighbour who originally thought it was their car," he said.

"It could have been a lot worse and fallen the other way, and went into our house."

In the West Midlands, damage caused by the storm means trains between Rugeley and Walsall are to be disrupted throughout Monday.

Buses are replacing trains between Wolverhampton and Stafford after nine trees fell on to the tracks on Sunday.

Image copyright Network Rail Birmingham
Image caption Nine trees fell onto the tracks between Wolverhampton and Stafford

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