South Scotland

Dumfries homes evacuated as roof blows off flats

St Michael Street
Image caption St Michael Street was sealed off while people were evacuated from their homes

A block of flats has been evacuated in Dumfries after strong winds blew part of the roof off the building.

About 40 residents had to leave the properties in St Michael Street at about 1900 GMT on Thursday.

The A75 in Dumfries and Galloway was also shut for about four hours after a lorry was blown over at Carrutherstown.

The B794 between Dalbeattie and Corsock remains closed due to a fallen tree between Haugh of Urr and its junction with the A75.

Fire crews and police were called out to the St Michael Street incident on Thursday evening.

Debris fell onto the roadway, which was sealed off and residents were evacuated.

Most of them are understood to have spent the night with relatives although a small number had to be re-housed.

A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said: "We are extremely fortunate that no one was injured either from inside the building itself or any nearby passing pedestrians and motorists.

"Swift and professional work by police, fire and ambulance staff ensured everyone concerned was extracted and moved to a place of safety in a timely manner."

The homes affected are understood to be a mix of private properties and housing owned by the social landlord, DGHP.

Structural checks led to their decision not to let people back into their homes until Monday.

Work was ongoing to try to put scaffolding in place to get access to the roof to make the building wind and watertight.

However, that operation was being hampered by continued high winds.

Travel in the region was badly affected by the weather with fallen trees a particular problem.

Motorists have been urged to take extreme care and watch out for debris on the roadways.

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