Severe weather: Gonzalo remnants affect Lancashire coast

image copyrightPA
image captionThe strong winds forced the closure of the lifts up Blackpool Tower

Strong winds and heavy rain affected Lancashire as the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo hit the county.

BBC Weather reported severe gales of between 60 and 70mph on Blackpool Promenade and other exposed coastal areas on Tuesday morning.

Sailings between Heysham and the Isle of Man were cancelled and Virgin Trains imposed speed restrictions in Lancashire.

A tree blocking the A49 Wigan Road in Euxton was removed.

image captionA cruise ship carrying about 450 passengers was prevented from docking in Liverpool by the weather

A cruise ship, the MV Funchal was forced to take shelter in Douglas bay off the east coast of the Isle of Man.

One passenger, Simon De Buisseret, was trying to make his way home to Somerset in time for his wife's funeral on Friday.

He told the BBC the bad weather was preventing the ship from docking. It was due to arrive in Avonmouth at 08:00 (BST) on Tuesday.

"We're being tossed all over the place - someone's just fallen over," said the Chelsea Pensioner.

"I really hope I can make it. It's touch and go."

The MV Funchal, which is thought to be carrying about 450 passengers, was expected to dock in Liverpool at 09:30 on Wednesday.

Hurricane Gonzalo caused widespread damage and a power blackout when it hit the island of Bermuda last week, with winds of up to 110mph.

Steve Becker, BBC Radio Lancashire's Blackpool and Fylde reporter

image copyrightPA
image captionGusts of up to 70mph made walking along the promenade at Blackpool difficult

Sand was gusting across parts of Blackpool prom, the Illuminations were shaken and the wind turbines at Blackpool's Solaris environment centre were working overtime in the winds.

But the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo did not cause problems on the Lancashire seafront, although the Blackpool Tower's lifts were not being used.

There were no reports of any damage and the promenade road and tramway were open.

Despite winds of up to 70mph being forecast, I spotted a lady jogging on the prom.

I stopped her to ask her what on earth she was doing and she told me she had a bit to drink over the weekend and is running it off with a six mile jog.

They are hardy types here in Blackpool.

image copyrightKelly Foran, BBC
image captionThe Isle of Man was also hit with UK ferry sailings cancelled due to conditions in the Irish Sea
image copyrightPA
image captionFoam from large waves and whipped up by gale force winds cover the coast road at Cleveleys near Blackpool
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe strong winds and dark skies left Blackpool's North Pier empty of visitors
image copyrightPA
image captionWeather forecasters predicted that the worst of the weather will be over after Tuesday

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