Five families were evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night after a landslide destroyed a 70ft wall built against a higher level of houses, sending bricks and rubble crashing into their back gardens.
Distressed residents scrambled from their homes in the Sneinton area of Nottingham at about 1am yesterday morning after tonnes of rubble came tumbling down onto the terraced properties in the pouring rain.
Emergency services rescued the families from four separate properties as their bathrooms and kitchens flooded during a torrential downpour, which is believed to have contributed to the landslide.
The fallen wall separates two rows of terrace houses built on different levels of a hillside estate, with the brickwork built from the bottom of the garden of the lower homes to the front of those above.
Structural engineers were today examining possible causes of the collapse – which could include the heavy rain in recent weeks, errors in the construction of the wall or shifting foundations – after photographs showed the crumbled wall lying inches from the homes, with piles of rubble blocking a stairway between the two roads.
Five families were evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night after a landslide destroyed a wall in Nottingham
Distressed residents scrambled from their homes in Nottingham at around 1am yesterday after the 70ft high wall collapsed
The fallen wall separates two rows of terrace houses built on different levels of a hillside estate in Nottingham
The brickwork of the 70ft wall was built from the bottom of the garden of the lower homes to the front of those above
Nottinghamshire Police said no one was injured and evacuees returned to their homes at 6am the same day. Lynn and Terry Oakley, who live opposite the affected homes, described a ‘huge bang’ and feeling their house move.
Mr Oakley, who has lived on Spalding Road for 30 years, said: ‘We heard a huge bang and the house moved. We thought what was that?! Kids were out here on the street. They were scared and frightened.
‘We took a couple of families in to help while they were evacuated. The wall that fell was built 15 years ago after it was replaced. It’s the most shocking thing to have happened here.’
Norman Wheatley, who has lived on Spalding Road for 52 years, described the moment huge pieces of brick fell into his garden and hit his conservatory.
The 57-year-old told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘I was asleep and my daughter ran into my room to wake me up. The whole middle section of the wall had fallen away and the two sides folded in.
‘The people above us (on Windmill Lane) informed the council who have been out to assess it. It’s damaged the walls of the conservatory a bit but not the actual house. It’s completely smashed the garden.
An aerial Google street view of the properties on Spalding Road in Nottingham, showing the wall (in red) prior to its collapse
Lynn and Terry Oakley, who live opposite the affected homes, described hearing a ‘huge bang’ and feeling their house move
Police said five families from four houses had to be evacuated in the pouring rain in the Sneinton area of the city
Officers arrived at the scene in Nottingham to find severe damage to the homes, with bathrooms and kitchens flooded
‘We’re really lucky it did not happen during the middle of the day. Sometimes children play out in the gardens. It could have been even more serious and I’m just glad no one was hurt.’
Mr Wheatley said the council had contacted him and said assessors would now be surveying the damage.
Clifford and Sandra Lowe, 74 and 76, fear their home could be next to be hit as they live below a part of the wall which did not fall away.
The couple, who have been together for 33 years, were woken during the middle of the night but their home was not evacuated. They told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘It is so shocking.
‘It made such a loud noise and we felt the ground move. The whole wall has completely come away. There’s so much damage. We are worried the bit of wall above us could be next.
‘We have been told to not go outside into the garden. We were asked to evacuate but we said no. We have had nothing but bad luck.’
Nottinghamshire Police Inspector Charlotte Allardice said: ‘Emergency services were called from distressed residents following a report of a landslide in Spalding Road and Windmill Lane at around 1am on Wednesday.
Police said emergency services were called by ‘distressed residents’ following the report of a landslide at 1am yesterday
Nottingham City Council said it is aware of this incident and is supporting the police in their efforts to help affected residents
An aerial view of the scene in Nottingham, where a 70ft wall collapsed into the garden of four homes following heavy rain
‘They needed assistance with somewhere to stay overnight. They returned to their homes at around 6am having spent time with their neighbours. Roads close to the incident had to be closed until the area was deemed to be safe.
‘The force is working closely with the local council and we are using our established contingency and emergency plans to respond to the situation. There have been no reported injuries.’
A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: ‘We are aware of this incident and are supporting the police in their efforts to help affected residents.
‘All residents in affected properties were safely evacuated nearby and we have arranged for temporary accommodation to be made available this morning for residents who need it.
‘We have arranged for structural engineers to attend to assess damage to the properties from the wall collapse.’
In June 2010, a landslide nearby resulted in a wall subsiding between two rows of houses on Loughborough Avenue and Finsbury Avenue. Gardens and the backs of eight houses were damaged but no one was injured.
Britain’s Viking winter: Snow warning is extended from Scottish isles to England’s south coast from Saturday as Nordic blizzards threaten ‘whiteout weekend’ – while more rain puts 200 areas on flood alert
- Forecasters warn ‘significant’ snow up to 3ft 4in (100cm) deep could cripple transport in worst-hit areas
- Much of northern England and Scotland face warnings for snow and ice until at least the end of next Monday
- Temperatures now set to plunge across UK with even London not expected to get above 3C (37F) next week
- 154 flood alerts and 44 warnings for England, with concern for areas around the River Thames and Severn
- Cold air from Scandinavia is sitting across northern areas as warm and moist air pushes in from the Atlantic
- ** Have you taken any photographs of the snow today? Please email them to: [email protected] **
Thousand of Britons woke to continued snow chaos today as areas braced for blizzards that could bring roads and rails to a standstill over the next five days amid ‘significant’ falls of up to 3ft 4in (100cm) deep.
Much of northern England and Scotland are under weather warnings for snow and ice until at least the end of next Monday amid concerns those living in remote villages could become cut off for days without power. The warnings were also today extended all the way down the east coast to southern England from noon on Saturday.
Temperatures are set to plunge across the UK with even London not expected to get above 3C (37F) between this Sunday and next Thursday, while more rain is on the way bringing an increased flood threat to nearly 200 areas.
The Environment Agency has 154 flood alerts and 44 warnings out for England, with concern for residents near the River Thames in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, and the River Severn in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
Cold air from Scandinavia will continue to sit across northern areas for much of this week, while warm and moist air is pushing in from the Atlantic to the South West. Where these two air masses clash, the rain will turn to snow.
The Scottish Government is now deciding whether to convene its resilience committee amid concerns over the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme north of the border, already lagging behind the rest of the UK.
Noy Allan clears snow outside her house in Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, today as Scotland is hit by blizzard conditions
Further weather warnings for snow and ice have also been put in place for Britain on SUNDAY (left) and MONDAY (right)
Heavy snow cowers the north east of Scotland today as a car is driven through Insch in Aberdeenshire
Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, known as ‘The Ship of the Fens’, is shrouded in early morning fog today
A van drives through a flooded road in the Millbrook area of Southampton this morning following further heavy rain
The White Cliffs of Dover in Kent are pictured today, following a cliff fall yesterday, which is thought to have been caused by a combination of high winds and freezing rain being absorbed into the chalk and then expanding, causing the cliff to weaken
A woman takes a picture of the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent today, one day after a cliff fall
Flooding closes the road past Cookham Moor after the River Thames burst its banks near the Berkshire village this morning
Flooding closes the road in Cookham Moor, Berkshire, this morning after the River Thames burst its banks
Flooding closes the road past Cookham Moor after the River Thames burst its banks in parts of Berkshire this morning
Vehicles carrying vaccines may not be able to reach areas in the northern half of Scotland and pensioners may be unable to leave their homes to attend vaccination centres if the weather becomes ‘challenging’ as is expected.
The UK now faces five days of snow and ice, with three yellow weather warnings for snow for today covering most of Scotland and northern England, meaning drivers risk becoming stranded and power cuts are possible.
There are 154 flood alerts (amber) and 44 warnings (red) for England today, particularly around the Thames and Severn
The Met Office said 4in (10cm) to 8in (20cm) of snow could fall on higher ground, with 1ft 4in (40cm) predicted to fall over the Grampians.
There is also a yellow warning for rain covering lower parts of Scotland and northern England until midday on Saturday, meaning localised flooding is likely. A similar warning for rain is in place covering most of Counties Derry, Antrim, Down and Armagh until midnight tonight.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Mark Sidaway said: ‘Into the weekend, snow will continue across much of Scotland, and is likely to increasingly fall to low levels before beginning to move south into northern and eastern England. We are likely to see some very large accumulations across higher parts of Scotland especially, with strong winds leading to significant drifting and blizzard conditions at times.’
There is an amber warning for heavy snow covering northern Scotland in force from midnight tonight until 6pm on Saturday, meaning communities could be cut off for several days.
The Met Office expects Scotland’s highest ground exposed to strong easterly winds to see up to 1ft 8in (50cm) of snow by Saturday night, but ITV’s Good Morning Britain forecaster Laura Tobin said the figure could actually be closer to 3ft 4in (100cm).
Forecasters also warned there could be long interruptions to power supplies and services such as gas, water and mobile phone coverage.
Beachgoers wrap up well to protect themselves from the wind and rain this morning at Seaburn beach in Sunderland
Dog walkers go for a stroll along Seaburn beach in Sunderland this morning during wet and windy conditions
A van drives down a foggy lane at Dunsden in Oxfordshire this morning as flood alerts remain in place across Britain
A blanket of fog shrouds the countryside on a cold morning as day breaks at Dunsden in Oxfordshire today
A foggy morning at Dunsden in Oxfordshire today as parts of Britain prepare for severe weather in the coming days
Gardeners clear a path around through the first snowdrops of the season at Audley End House in Saffron Waldon, Essex, today
Hardener Rachel Turfrey walks today among the snowdrops at Painswick in Gloucestershire which are now in full bloom
A beautiful sunrise over West Park in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, this morning as parts of Britain prepare for severe weather
Over the past few days, southern England has enjoyed relatively mild temperatures, with the mercury hitting 11C (52F) in places, but it will also see winter tighten its grip. Yesterday’s high was 11.3C (52.3F) in Swanage, Dorset.
** Have you taken any photographs of the snow today? Please email them to: [email protected] **
Mr Sidaway said: ‘Although amounts of snow across England are likely to be less than seen across Scotland, the potential is there for some heavy snow across eastern England later in the weekend, and perhaps elsewhere in southern Britain as we head into next week, with very cold easterly winds.’
A yellow weather warning stretching from Norfolk all the way up the east coast of England will come into force at 3pm on Saturday and remain in place midnight on Monday.
Some 0.8in (2cm) to 1.6in (4cm) of snow could fall in the North East of England, with 2.4in (6cm) to 3.1in (8cm) potentially falling on east-facing slopes.
Meanwhile Natural Resources Wales had four flood alerts in place, including along the Upper Severn in Powys and for South Pembrokeshire.
Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: ‘The Met Office is warning us that this period of challenging weather is set to continue, and become more difficult for parts of the country at the end of the week and into the weekend.
‘It’s important to remember the current Covid restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose. Please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off, especially if you’re in the amber warning area.
‘If you do have to make an essential journey during the warning period, you should make sure that you plan your journey in advance, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice. The forecast snow is likely to cause difficult conditions on the roads and the wider transport network.’
Transport Scotland said the trunk road network will be closely monitored, with dedicated patrols and road surface treatments. The Multi-Agency Response Team was activated at the start of the week and will remain operational for the duration of the weather warnings.
Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: ‘Government restrictions on only travelling if your journey is essential remain in place and so with an amber warning for snow, please consider if your journey really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.
‘If you deem your journey really is essential, plan ahead and make sure you and your vehicle are suitably prepared by having sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food, water and charge in your mobile phone in the event you require assistance.
A snowplough making its way along a snow covered road in the village of Harwood in Teesdale, County Durham, yesterday
A snowplough clears the A708 at Cappercleuch in the Scottish Borders yesterday with more blizzards on the way
A woman skis on a hill at Spittal of Glenshee in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, yesterday while a dog runs alongside her
‘The Met Office, Traffic Scotland and Sepa websites and social media channels have valuable information about weather disruptions and we would encourage people to check these sites before setting off on their journey.’
Power company Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) last night mobilised engineers to prepare for lines being brought down.
A spokesman said: ‘SSEN’s current weather model shows continued wintry conditions bringing heavy snow across the north of Scotland, with the worst of the weather expected in Highland Perthshire, Deeside and the central Highlands.
‘SSEN has enacted its well-established resilience plans, increasing its standby resources in anticipation of potential damage to its network.’
** Have you taken any photographs of the snow today? Please email them to: [email protected] **