Fleetwood residents battered by hurricane-force winds were today picking up the pieces after a ferocious day-long bombardment.
And it was only thanks to luck that no one was seriously injured as parts of buildings were torn off by winds measuring at over 90mph.
The peak time of the storm damage was around 7pm on Wednesday when the swirling westerly winds reached maximum power.
At the Larkholme Parade shops, heavy felt roofing on flats above a row of four shops was torn off and crashed onto the forecourt below, in large a tangled mass right in front of the shops.
Fortunately, the nearest outlets were closed at the time.
As the roof lifted it pulled off a whole skylight window unit in one of the flats, which also ended up on the ground - while a stunned occupant was in the room.
Tom Williams, 17, who lives in the flat with older sister Faye, 19, had just gone into the bathroom when the skylight blew completely out.
He said: “I’d just gone in to the toilet when it suddenly went really cold.
“I looked up and the window had gone, and all this felt stuff came down. I was shocked.
“It didn’t even make a sound, it just went.”
Faye Williams, who is the main tenant, said: “When I got home I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“If the window isn’t fixed soon we may have to go and stay somewhere else for a bit.”
Carol Mosson, who works in the Wudz sandwich bar below the flats, said: “I came in to work at 8am on Thursday, and I saw all this mess outside the shops.
“This has never happened here before.”
There was also damage at the Shell Garage on Hatfield Avenue, at around 6.45pm on the same night.
One panel on the shop front blew down, and even more seriously, part of the corrugated sheet metal roofing came off, some of it coming away completely and another section left hanging down.
This was directly above the petrol pumps were customers park up.
It was deemed such a health and safety risk the garage had to be shut for 12 hours, between 7pm Wednesday and 7am Thursday.
Manager Sam Jones said: “Once one part of the roof came off, the rest seemed to unravel.
“If the wind gets up again we may have to close again. We’re having to keep a close eye on things, customer safety is vital.”
And several trees in the Mount Park were felled by the wind and needed to be removed by Wyre Council staff.