A KILDWICK youngster had a miraculous escape after a heavy branch from a lime tree crashed through the family home and pierced the chair and stool where he was sitting on Sunday.

Storm Ciara left a trail of devastation in its wake with torrential rain causing havoc on the roads and railways.

Emergency services were inundated with calls while power companies battled to get people’s electricity back after power lines were taken out.

In Hall Gardens, Kildwick, there was a shock in store for the family of Greg Wilkinson, of Fisher & Wilkinson property developers.

Mr Wilkinson said: “It was around tea time and we were sitting in the kitchen extension watching TV.

George, my five-year-old was on a chair with a foot stool when this huge branch from a lime tree in the garden crashed through the roof and pierced the stool.

“It was a miracle he wasn’t badly injured.

“As it was he got a graze on his head and one on his side.

“We took him to hospital for a check-up but he was okay though I still can’t believe how lucky he was. I’m really concerned about the other big trees in the garden now. We’ve been here four years and never had a problem before but that storm was really severe,” said Mr Wilkinson.

The whole of the country was battered by the storm which had predicted up to 95 mph winds.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service attended dozens of callouts to rescue stranded motorists and help pump out properties while trains were cancelled and several roads closed.

North Yorkshire Police were on red alert and were warning people not to travel unless necessary.

Roads Policing Sergeant Neale Rees said: “Hours of extremely heavy rain have taken a toll on our road network, and in many places water is pooling faster than it can drain. This includes major trunk roads across the region.

“We are now advising motorists to avoid all non-essential travel until conditions improve. If your journey is absolutely unavoidable, please exercise extreme caution.”

Police warned of affected roads around Settle where the River Ribble had flooded nearby roads.

They also attended a vehicle stuck in water in Keighley Road, Skipton. The driver managed to get out of the vehicle before officers arrived and who were aided by the fire and rescue service.

Elsewhere, a tree that had blown down and was laying across Malsis Road, Glusburn, causing problems for drivers, while a vehicle got stuck on the route between Carleton and Skipton after the road became flooded.

Slightly further afield, but which North Yorkshire Police had to attend to was a cow which had wandered onto the A59 near Harrogate after fencing was damaged.

Many residents suffered blackout when power lines were damaged.

Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for managing the electricity distribution network across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, had teams working into the night on Sunday to restore power to customers.

Almost 68,000 customers were affected, but by the end of the night, just 5,041 remained unconnected and were due to have their power restored on Monday.

In Skipton, a crack of thunder and lightning at around 11pm brought with it a damaging hail shower which broke one of the panes of glass in Skipton sportsman Roger Ingham’s greenhouse.”It only lasted a few minutes but it was bad. You could hardly walk for the ice,” he said.

On Monday Network Rail warned of ongoing issues with some flooding on lines due to flooding at Hellifield and at Kirkstall Forge, affecting services though they were expected to improve quickly.