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Businesses hit as storms lash North

10 February 2005 by

Hurricane winds and torrential rain tore through the North of England last weekend, wreaking havoc on hospitality businesses across the region.

Center Parcs was forced to close its Oasis Whinfell Forest leisure village in Cumbria after a power failure, costing the business about £400,000.

Managers decided to close the village on Saturday after the severe weather disrupted electricity supplies, affecting heating, lighting, kitchens and the swimming pool. Most of the village's food stock had to be disposed of after a power cut to the kitchen.

A Center Parcs spokeswoman admitted the only option was to send its 700 guests home. She told Caterer: "Thirty villas were damaged by falling trees and branches, and all electricity supplies were down. We do have a number of electricity generators in case of a loss of power in certain areas of the park, but they're not powerful enough to supply the whole village." The village reopened on Monday.

Fallen power lines also forced Hazlewood Castle hotel near Leeds to shut. Chef-director John Benson-Smith said the business was counting the cost of spoiled food, and he expected the damage to run into thousands of pounds.

The Drunken Duck Inn and Restaurant at Ambleside in the Lake District was similarly affected. Joint owner Paul Spencer said: "All bookings had to be cancelled as soon as the electricity had gone. We're going to have to put in an insurance claim for about £5,000 for all the food we've lost."

Other businesses affected included the Tontine Inn in North Yorkshire. All business was cancelled when there was a power cut on Saturday morning.

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