After Storm Barney... St Albans counts cost of damage

High-angle view of the tree, which was blown into Verulamium Lake this week.

High-angle view of the tree, which was blown into Verulamium Lake this week. - Credit: Archant

Storm Barney caused havoc overnight as a huge tree was blown into the lake at Verulamium Park and a half a mile of overhead cables on a trainline between St Albans and Harpenden were damaged.

A St Albans council spokesperson confirmed that the area around the tree - an old oak tree to the north of the lake - had been cordoned off and contractors would be removing it piece by piece.

The tree is thought to pose no risk to the public and will be removed as when it is convenient to do so.

Tuesday night’s strong winds also brought down half a mile of cables on a Thameslink line near St Albans train station.

Network Rail engineers worked through the night and into the next day to repair the damage, which had caused disruption to travel services.

John Bottomley, a resident living close to the station, and his 11-year-old son Alex watched as fire-fighters cleared the fallen tree with chainsaws.

He said: “We could see safety lights placed on the tracks to warn approaching trains. It could have been a nasty incident.

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“My son and I saw the fire engines after we got home from swimming. There were branches from other trees nearby whipping around the place.”

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