Wirral school closed for third day after Storm Arwen rips off roof and carries it for 75 metres

Part of the roof flew over a fence and smashed into some of the school’s new play equipment.

<p>The Observatory School in Bidston, Wirral. Image: Google</p>

The Observatory School in Bidston, Wirral. Image: Google

A Wirral school has been closed for the third day in a row, after part of its roof travelled 75 metres and smashed into play equipment.

The Observatory School, a secondary school on Bidston Village Road, in Bidston, Wirral, has not opened since last week due to damage caused by Storm Arwen.

A statement by The Observatory’s headteacher Gregory Chiswell, published on its website earlier this week, said: “Between 21:00 on Friday and 03:00 on Saturday, parts of the roof covering were torn off in winds that exceeded predictions.

“A particularly large part of the roof was torn off and travelled over 75 metres, over a fence and smashed into (and broke) some of the school’s new play equipment – we are thankful it didn’t blow onto the road – a number of the trees on site are also damaged.”

The school explained that the shocking event was caused by strong winds, with The Observatory particularly exposed to the North and North West with winds that accelerate off the sea and up the slope of Bidston Hill.

The school has remained closed since the damage was caused. But a statement by deputy headteacher Sarah Gower, which was posted on the school’s website on Tuesday, said: “We have had an assessment of the roof completed today and we are pleased to say the roof is now safe and secure.

“We are still awaiting a survey of the trees which were affected by the storm, in particular the ones situated in the sensory garden area. We have this assessment tomorrow morning.

“Unfortunately following guidance we cannot open the school until we have had a full survey conducted.”

The damage at The Observatory is one example of the havoc wreaked by Storm Arwen in the borough at the weekend.

More than 160 separate incidents were reported through Wirral Council’s out of hours phone line on Friday and Saturday, with the majority relating to trees having been brought down by the strong winds.

Some houses and cars were reported as damaged during the storm, while many roads in the borough were blocked as a result of fallen trees.