COUNCIL chiefs say the damage caused by Storm Ali will take weeks to repair.

North Ayrshire took a brutal battering last Wednesday when 80mph winds swept through towns and villages taking down trees, smashing windows, tearing apart sheds and overturning furniture and trampolines. 

In the aftermath of the storm staff from the Roads and Streetscene teams worked tirelessly clearing trees, debris and other items to make the area safe.

Staff in NAC’s Customer Contact Centre took more than 1,200 Storm Ali-related calls in one day, and Irvine’s Knagerhill Cemetery was closed for a week while authorities repaired and cleared up the damage.

One NAC staff member described the storm damage as the “the worst he’s experienced in 20 years”

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Firstly, and most importantly, we don’t believe anyone suffered any significant injuries and that is fantastic.

“A huge thanks to all the staff working within various departments. It was an extremely challenging day but they kept calm, worked incredibly hard and did an unbelievable job for their communities.

“Some disruption was inevitable and roads were closed but it was kept to a minimum and that’s down to the teams here. Inquiries were prioritised to keep people safe. If roads were unsafe, temporary closures were put in place for public safety.

“Staff also volunteered to go on call to assist the Roads and Lighting Fault Team (RALF) out of hours to deal with emergencies.

“The team worked until darkness on Wednesday night to deal with the huge volume of calls/reports despite some horrendous weather conditions. They will be working extra hours over the next few days to deal with the clean-up and this will probably last the next couple of weeks.”

A poplar tree was cleared from Paterson Avenue, Irvine, while trees were removed from Perceton Row, Irvine, Long Drive, Irvine, Hunterston Road, West Kilbride and Barrmill Road in Beith.