Thirty pensioners left homeless when gale-force winds ripped the roof off their home in Sheffield face an uncertain few days not knowing when they can move back.
The OAPs were evacuated from Roman Ridge Care Home in Wincobank when part of the roof blew off during one of the worst storms to have ever battered South Yorkshire – with winds reaching 92mph in Sheffield.
Residents were offered emergency accommodation at the Northern General Hospital and a care home in Ecclesfield, while others moved in with relatives, after firefighters, police, care home and council staff escorted them out of the damaged home during the storm.
One section of the roof was ripped off entirely – exposing part of the top floor of the home to the elements.
The strongest gust of wind recorded during Wednesday’s wintry storm was 92mph at High Bradfield, Sheffield.
A Roman Ridge Care Home spokeswoman said: “Roman Ridge was evacuated following concerns the strong wind was beginning to damage the roof.
“All of our residents have been moved to safe locations, and our maintenance teams are on site to clear the debris, assess the damage and ensure the property is secure.
“We want to thank all our staff, the fire service, police and the local authority for their response.
“The welfare of our residents, tenants, and householders is of utmost importance, which is why we have thorough emergency plans and these were carried out without incident.”
Engineers spent yesterday examining the damage and drawing up a repair plan.
Bosses do not yet know when it will be safe for residents to return.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Thirty residents were evacuated from a care home in Lavender Way due to roof damage. This happened in the early evening and the evacuation was completed by 8.20pm.”
Fire chiefs, who received three times the number of calls than normal during the peak of Wednesday’s storm, said they were surprised nobody was seriously injured by flying debris, collapsed buildings and uprooted trees across South Yorkshire.
Emergency services were also called to Goodison Boulevard, Cantley, Doncaster, during the storm, after a tree landed on the roof of a car – trapping the driver.
A tree surgeon had to remove the tree before firefighters were able to cut the driver out.
Firefighters had to help one lorry driver out of his cab after his HGV blew over and landed on its side on the A629 in Thurgoland, while the Tinsley Viaduct and Woodhead Pass were closed on safety grounds as the winds picked up speed.
Mick Mason, of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “I was surprised nobody was seriously injured, bearing in mind all the sheds, debris and fence panels there were blowing about, I was expecting some injuries but fortunately that wasn’t the case.”