Storm Ciara: Ipswich air dome comes down in gale force winds

PUBLISHED: 16:57 09 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 09 February 2020

Ipswich Sports Club's air dome has come down in the heavy winds from Storm Chiara. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich Sports Club's air dome has come down in the heavy winds from Storm Chiara. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Ipswich Sports Club says it has been left “devastated” after strong gusts of wind from Storm Ciara tore down its beloved air dome.

Ipswich Sports Club  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDIpswich Sports Club Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The region has been battered by winds of up to 70mph throughout the day, with more winds, lightning and torrential rain expected later.

MORE: Storm Ciara LIVE - Latest travel and weather updates

Many roads have been and rail services have been blocked by fallen trees, while one motorist even had a lucky escape when a tree fell on top of his car while driving.

Ipswich Sports Club, in Henley Road, was forced to Tweet an an "urgent notice" about the dome after "the strong gusts of wind ripped the cables and dome skin, which brought it down".

It has now said the dome, which houses tennis courts, will be out of action for at least 10 days while it works with Covair, the firm which supplied the dome structure, to find a replacement.

The sports club said it was "devastated for the members and coaches" but pointed out that everyone was evacuated safely this morning, with no-one hurt.

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A link Tweeted to followers earlier said: "The air dome has unfortunately come down due to the heavy winds.

"Members are advised not to use any other exterior areas of the club for safety reasons today and until the winds have subsided.

MORE: 10,000 homes without power in Suffolk and Essex as storms batter region

"We anticipate that the air dome courts will be out of action for a minimum of 10 days but further updates will follow as soon as we know more from Covair, the company which supply the dome structure."

The club has a number of courts for different sporting activities, some of which are under the air dome.

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It has advised members to speak to coaches directly to see if any alternative arrangements have been made for coaching sessions, while all member bookings will be cancelled until further notice.

"We will keep members informed of progress as soon as we have more information and apologise for any inconvenience in the meantime," the statement said.

"We thank members for their patience whilst we deal with the matter as quickly as possible."

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