North West Wales

Freak storm destroys trees at Llanbedr, Gwynedd

Storm damage at farm near Llanbedr, Gwynedd
Image caption Aled Morgan Jones said the storm was all over in just 10 seconds

A freak storm has ripped through an ancient Gwynedd woodland destroying oak and beech trees in gale force winds.

Aled Morgan Jones, who has a farm and holiday business at Nantcol near Harlech, said it had caused "carnage" and changed the landscape forever.

He said it was unbelievable nobody was injured.

The Met Office said it appeared the area had been hit by a weather front which brought intense rainfall, hail and thunderstorms.

Mr Morgan Jones said the storm was all over in about 10 seconds but it had caused extensive damage to the woods below his family home.

Image caption The Met Office said a weather front may have been to blame

He said there was rain and lightning before winds suddenly whipped up into an "unbelievable storm" affecting the woodland of oaks and beeches.

"It must have been a hurricane. About 20 old oak trees were just stripped to pieces, many ripped up from their roots," he said.

"It was absolute carnage. It was unbelievable no one was hurt. If anyone had been caught up in that wind they would have definitely been killed.

"We actually saw the telegraph pole bend over."

Mr Morgan Jones said the storm had also torn down four leylandii trees which had stood for about 30 years. But it did not seem to have affected any of his neighbours.

"Thankfully it is only the trees that have been damaged, nothing else. It has changed the landscape - an old oak forest has been cut into smithereens," he said.

A Met Office spokesman said winds of up to 80mph had been recorded at Capel Curig in Snowdonia on Saturday afternoon.

The spokesman said there had been a very active weather front passing through the area.

'Thunder and lightning'

"It brought very lively weather - intense rainfall, hail and thunderstorms," he said.

"On that kind of squall line you can get very lively conditions for a few minutes. These squalls can be very damaging, with trees brought down."

In nearby Dyffryn Ardudwy, three large Douglas fir trees were uprooted by the storm in the grounds of the Cadwgan Hotel, with one tree falling across a railway line.

Two of the trees demolished a children's play area at the hotel while the third fell across the Cambrian coast railway line, a few yards from the railway station.

Hotel proprietor Adam Greenfield said: "There was thunder and lightning and very strong winds at around 4.30pm on Saturday and then this almighty crash when the trees came down.

"I don't know whether the trees were hit by the lightning or not but they came down with a loud crash. Luckily no one was hurt."

Image caption Trees fell on a play area at the Cadwgan Hotel

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