Storm Malik leaves behind damage across Sunderland as high winds batters the city

Sunderland is busy counting the cost of Storm Malik after properties were damaged by falling trees and masonry during Saturday’s high winds.

Sunday, 30th January 2022, 4:15 pm

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Part of the Bridges Shopping Centre was temporarily closed and trees fell into homes across the city.

Among the areas affected were properties in Cairns Road and Falmouth Square.

At the storm’s peak, around 78,000 homes across the region had lost power.

Storm Malik causes a brick wall to partially collapse, spilling onto the road in Roker, Sunderland

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Northern Powergrid had reduced this number to 19,000 by Sunday afternoon and was hopeful of reconnecting most properties by Sunday evening.

The majority of people without power were in Northumberland and County Durham.

The Bridges was evacuated just after noon on Saturday while the rooftop car park and Level 4 of the multi-storey car park were also closed.

The shopping centre announced on Sunday that the mall and car park had reopened.

High winds caused by Storm Malik uproot road sign welcoming drivers to Sunderland

Tyne and Wear Metro operator Nexus also confirmed it had suspended services across its network due to the high winds on Saturday.

Sunderland services, however, had been restored by Sunday.

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Following the high winds, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said they dealt with an “extremely high volume of calls” across the region on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the service said on Saturday: “Since 9am we have responded to 170 calls and we are working tirelessly to respond to those incidents to ensure the safety of residents across Tyne and Wear. This volume of calls is well in excess of the normal volume on any day.”

In neighbouring County Durham, a major incident was declared by The Emergency Planning Strategic Co-ordination Group (SCP) to help those without electricity.

Chief Superintendent Richie Allen, Chair of the SCG, said: “We are working closely with all of our partners, including Northern Powergrid, to ensure that supplies are restored as soon as possible, particularly for those who are vulnerable.

“It’s just two months since many communities were left without power as a result of Storm Arwen, so we understand that residents will be anxious to ensure their supplies are quickly restored.”

The region remains braced to deal with Storm Corrie, which is expected to hit the region from 3pm on Sunday until noon on Monday.

Forecasters say the UK’s weather will remain blustery through the start of the week although it will feel mild with temperatures climbing to double figures by Tuesday.

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