TREES and fences were blown down as severe storm force winds swept across Halton yesterday.

There have been reports of power cuts in Sandymoor, Runcorn, and trees falling Preston Brook.

Traffic crawled slowly across the Runcorn Widnes bridge in the strong gales but Cheshire Police decided not to close the crossing.

Motorists driving along the M56 over the Sutton Weaver viaduct in Runcorn also faced long queues as the heavy winds.

The M6 was closed in both directions in Cheshire as hurricane force gales made the Thelwall Viaduct too dangerous to cross.

A large tree fell and damaged two homes in Coronation Road, Runcorn.

Firefighters removed debris from the roof, set up a cordon and offered advice to the home owners.

The incident happened at 5.15pm yesterday.

There is disruption today on Virgin Trains between Liverpool Lime Street, Runcorn and Crewe due to overhead line problems at Crewe.

Tickets are being accepted on Northern Rail and First Transpennine Express services.

ScottishPower is currently responding to a high number of weather related incidents as power cuts have affected 6,000 homes across Cheshire.

A spokesman said: “The biggest issue affecting the electricity network has been uprooted trees and other debris blown on to overhead power lines, which has caused damage and brought down power lines in some areas.

“The company will do all it can to restore supplies as quickly as possible.”

ScottishPower has can The company says 52,000 homes across Cheshire, mid and north Wales and North Shropshire have been left without power