Express & Star

Storm Isha latest: Morning of travel chaos after heavy winds batter region

A fallen tree has narrowly avoided hitting a house in Walsall as high winds continue to cause chaos across the region.

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It began overnight as Storm Isha pummelled the region with powerful winds.

The first incident we were made aware of was reported by traffic police on the M6.

A Mercedes driver managed to write off his car near the Junction for Wednesbury, with officers saying he was going far too fast for the conditions.

The image below illustrates the extent of the damage.

The Mercedes in question.

Meanwhile, a large tree on Myatt Avenye in Aldridge was uprooted on Monday, narrowly avoiding nearby houses.

A tree was tore out of the ground on Myatt Avenye on Monday

There was also disruption to shoppers as Walsall Market was cancelled due to high winds.

Early on Monday morning, services on the railway between Shrewsbury and Birmingham were subject to delay as engineers inspected the track for things like fallen trees.

No specific incidents were reported by Network Rail, but the weather warnings in place meant there was a high chance of things like fallen trees and debris on the tracks.

It was possibly not storm-related but there was also a points failure between Wolverhampton and Stafford, a line already affected by Isha issues.

This was expected to be fixed by 9am but the line was subject to plenty of delays and cancellations.

Avanti West Coast had already warned of changes and delays on Monday following the bad weather.

On Sunday, Network Rail imposed 50mph speed restrictions across most routes to keep passengers and trains safe from falling trees and debris blown onto tracks.

They also warned of delays on Monday.

In a statement the company said: “It’s likely that travel disruption will continue into Monday morning as engineers finish the clean-up operation removing fallen trees and debris and running ‘ghost trains’ to ensure lines are clear before allowing passenger trains to restart.”

The roads were a disaster too. A three-vehicle crash on the M6 caused delays around Birmingham in the morning.

It was cleared relatively quickly and no one was hurt, but it still caused major residual traffic.

Meanwhile, air traffic control restrictions were in place, leading to flight cancellations and causing some planes to divert.

Birmingham Airport however assured that it remained "fully operational" despite the strong winds.

A spokeswoman for the airport said: "Birmingham Airport has remained fully operational with minimal disruption to passengers.

"We have received a number of diversions from other UK and Ireland airports which were affected by high winds and we have assisted airlines with onwards travel for passengers from some of those flights."

The Met Office said Storm Isha – the ninth named storm to hit the UK since the season began in September – was expected to pull away on Monday, although it was expected to remain windy with a mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers.

A yellow weather warning remained in place for the whole country for Monday morning.

Showers are expected to be heaviest and most frequent in the north and west of the country on Monday, but easing with a dry night except in the north west and winds also easing.

A bright start to Tuesday will see cloud and rain moving in from the west and winds increasing with severe gales possible.