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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 12:06 GMT
Homes without power after storms
Queen Anne's Battery yachts
Yachts are piled up against each at a Plymouth marina
Over 900 homes are still without electricity after the weekend's gales caused chaos across the South West.

The winds initially left more than 15,000 homes in Devon and Cornwall without power on Sunday morning.

Yacht owners are also counting the cost of the damage which could exceed more than 1m at one marina.

Winds gusting up to 100mph caused chaos at Queen Anne's Battery in Plymouth where boats on land fell against each other in a domino effect.

In Saltash, on the Cornish side of the River Tamar, more boats were ripped from their moorings.

Yachts 'carnage'

Lifeboatmen described seeing a number of unmanned luxury yachts drifting down the river, helpless against the wind.

Two Plymouth lifeboats were launched at 0300 GMT when the yacht Dolcebella's anchor cable became tangled up in its propellers, leaving it without power.

Queen Anne's Battery yachts
Gusts of up to 100mph left luxury yachts on their sides

Another boat sank near the crossing, leaving only the top of its mast visible above the water.

Plymouth RNLI Coxswain Dave Milford said: "It was carnage. There were boats piled up against each other at Saltash. I've never seen anything like it."

He estimated the damage at Queen Anne's Battery, where 20 to 30 yachts were piled up against each other, would be millions of pounds.

"I would not like to be the insurers, they just went over like dominoes," he said.

School bus hit

Saltram House, one of Devon's National Trust properties, closed on Monday because of the risk from unstable trees in surrounding parkland.

More than 2,500 homes in Cornwall and 275 homes in Devon remained without electricity on Monday.

Western Power say 50 homes at Manhay, north of Helston, would be without power for the rest of the day after high winds blew down an electricity pole.

Gales had knocked out power to about 15,000 homes in Cornwall and schools at Indian Queens, Summercourt and Gwinear are still closed because of power cuts.

Two schoolchildren from Penair School near Truro were injured by flying glass when their double-decker bus from Feock hit a branch thought to have been dislodged by gales.

The children were treated for minor injuries at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Weather forecasters are predicting more strong winds on Monday night with gales later in the week.


SEE ALSO
Winds leave 8,000 homes cut-off
03 Dec 06 |  Cornwall
High winds cut power to thousands
03 Dec 06 |  West Midlands
Storms hit power and rail tracks
22 Sep 06 |  Cornwall

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