HIGH winds ripping through Chester closed a major store and caused widespread damage across the city.
The ferocity of the gales brought down scaffolding on the top of Big Storage, Sealand Road, on Sunday at about 2.50pm.
Roads were sealed off and shoppers cleared from the area.
Car park attendants working at neighbouring B&Q spotted the toppled metal scaffolding and management swiftly contacted police.
Big Storage managing director Paul Fahy said: 'We are extending the store and some of the scaffolding came down.
'One sheet of roofing was flapping in the wind and that was our major concern but there was no damage caused to the building and it has been business as usual today.'
Mark MaGuire, duty manager at neighbouring B&Q, said: 'The police asked us to evacuate the store which we were able to do quite quickly because it was getting close to closing time at that point anyway.
'The scaffolding tower has come down but we were more worried about the roofing tiles coming off after what happened at Aldi recently.
'We're monitoring the situation today but have been able to open as usual.'
Sealand Road remained closed off on Monday morning but damage was not limited to this area of Chester.
A pub sign hanging outside The Stanley Arms, Brook Street, had to be removed after a hinge snapped in the winds.
Firefighters operating their aerial ladder brought it down on Sunday at 2.50pm.
Lease holder Tony Carss said: 'It looked like it could have come down at any moment and it is heavy enough to have killed someone.'