Ballymoney Christmas Tree downed by winds ... again

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THE Christmas and New Year holidays literally came to a crashing end in Ballymoney on Tuesday (January 3) when the town’s official Christmas Tree was snapped in two by gales.

The Tree has now been removed after being made safe by workers, Ballymoney Council spokesperson Liz Johnston said.

It was the second time the official Christmas Tree in Ballymoney was felled by huge gusts with a previous tree also having to be hauled down for safety reasons before Christmas after it lurched badly in high winds on December 8.

Liz Johnston said: “We have not had much luck with the official Christmas Tree in Ballymoney this year. This was the second time it has had to be removed.

“This time the tree has snapped in two like a pencil would break. It happened around 3am and workers were called out at 6.30am after it was discovered the Tree had broken across the road. The electricity was isolated and it was taken down and removed around 9am.”

Disruption was caused across north Antrim on Tuesday (January 3) when gale-force winds tumbled trees.

A tree was down on the busy Frocess Road near Ballymoney around 7am and Inspector David Anderson of Ballymoney PSNI said a vehicle collided with it but there were no reports of any injuries.

The inspector said a tree was also down at Drumahiskey Road, Balnamore.

A DRD Roads Service spokesperson said: “A couple of branches fell onto or near the A26 Frosses Road, Ballymoney, within a 3km section south of Ballymoney and were cleared by 0630hrs this morning.

“A small branch was cleared from the A26 Newbridge Road, Ballymoney, south of a dual carriageway section, around 0700hrs this morning and minor branches were cleared from the B62 Ballybogy Road, Ballymoney - near Ballybogy before 0930hrs.

“No major disruption was caused to the travelling public.”

There were also sightings of wheelie bins lying on roads and vehicles were buffetted with cross-winds during the morning rush hour.

Ballymoney Council refuse workers encountered many bins which has blown over, particularly blue bins as they contained paper and are lighter than black bins which contain ordinary household waste.

The worst of the winds were reported between 5am and 7am but the Moyle police area appeared to have escaped severe gale damage.

Inspector Bryan Hume of Moyle PSNI said at 10am, police there had not dealt with any incidents.

There were also reports of power cuts in the Carrowcrin Road area in the Drones district near Armoy.