Autumn’s first blast of wild weather blew across the Fylde coast when the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo hit.
Gusts of more than 70mph were recorded here as storms swept across the UK.
And Fleetwood’s Charles Saer Primary School was forced to close early yesterday as strong winds battered the building.
The school, on Grange Road, made the decision at 1.30pm to ask parents to collect their children early.
Head teacher Carolyn Thackway said: “We had a shutter ripped off a classroom window and tiles coming off the roof. We made a health and safety decision to get children out in a staggered evacuation rather than everyone coming out together at 3pm.”
Foam sprayed over the top of the Fylde coast’s sea defences but there was to be no repeat of the wide- spread flooding that hit last winter.
However, the storm still caused disruption after buildings were damaged after taking a battering by the wind.
Gazette reader Scott Rich, of Daventry Avenue, Bispham, was walking along Red Bank Road when he saw several bricks come crashing down to the pavement from a nearby building.
He said: “I was just on the way back from getting fish and chips and there was this loud noise.
“It was pretty scary. There was a woman even closer than me to getting hit by it.
“It certainly puts things into perspective.”
Emergency services attended a number of incidents as the storm wreaked havoc across the Fylde coast.
Police closed Market Street, Blackpool, as a safety precaution after tiles were seen falling from a hotel roof.
Meanwhile, staff at Notarianni Ice Cream, on Waterloo Road, South Shore, were preparing for the worst after being badly hit by flooding back in December.
Boss Michael Vettese said: “It’s worrying. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.
“The wind seemed just as strong as back in December but maybe the tide was not quite as high.
“At least then we had time to refurbish, it would have been bad if it happened again while we were open.”
He said the store was only selling ice cream in tubs yesterday, adding: “I don’t think cornets would have survived!”
Meanwhile, M rs Thackway said she would inform parents by text about whether the school would be open today, although she was confident the it would be.
Winds of up to 65mph are forecast today with heavy rain to continue until the weekend.