Strong winds set to sweep in across Tameside and Greater Manchester
Monday 16th October 2017 @ 12:36 by Adam Higgins
Greater Manchester News Tameside

Gusts of up to 80 miles per hour are expected as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia are set to hit Greater Manchester today. 

The storm, which is sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean, could cause structural damage to buildings and there is a potential risk to life, forecasters warn.

It has already swept through parts of Ireland and Wales, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power, while Ireland have declared a national emergency, with people warned to stay indoors.

Over 20 flights have already been cancelled at Manchester Airport and the AA are now advising against non-essential travel in the North West.

Although rain is not forecast for Greater Manchester, the strong winds are expected to begin from midday and remain for the rest of Monday.

A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office, which says there could be damage to buildings and disruption to rail and road services.

There could be injuries caused by flying debris caused by the extreme weather, forecasters added.

They say: “A spell of very windy weather is likely on Monday in association with ex-Ophelia. Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journeys times and cancellations possible.

“Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage. Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs could happen, perhaps leading to injuries and danger to life from flying debris.

“Coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities may be affected by spray and/or large waves.”

With severe weather warnings across the UK and Ireland, Dogs Trust rehoming centres in affected areas are currently closed, and will remain closed until it is safe for them to re-open.

The charity has produced the following advice for anyone with any concerns relating to the safety of pets at this time:

  • If the storm is disrupting your dog’s exercise routine, activities such as a toy filled with food so that they can use up some energy playing and ‘exploring’ for food, often work well. Games like this are also a great distraction from any unsettling sounds. If you are able to head out safely, always keep your dog on a lead in case they get scared by any sudden noises.
  • If you need someone to care for your dog during the storm, in the first instance try friends and family, otherwise try your local authority. Remember lots of organisations, including local authorities, may be affected and may not be able to offer immediate help. But, they may be able to recommend licensed boarding establishments.
  • If you know of any neighbours, relatives or friends who have pets and might be affected then please keep in touch with them. When extreme unforeseen events like this happen, there are so many things to think about that it is very likely they will need your support.
  • If you are near an area that may flood, be aware that flood water could contain raw sewage, and might be contaminated. Keep you and your pet out of it as the water could contain toxins, which could be dangerous to your pet if swallowed, and could remain on their coat if not bathed properly.
  • Pet owners should know where their pets are at all times. If there is any risk to pets kept outside, ensure they have a safe shelter, or if appropriate bring them indoors. They may be scared and unsure, and will need reassurance.