High winds threaten milk plant towers in Cookstown

Milk towers along main Cookstown to Moneymore dual carriageway
Milk towers along main Cookstown to Moneymore dual carriageway

Strong winds brought disruption to some parts of Mid-Ulster on Thursday morning.

The main Moneymore to Cookstown Road was closed for several hours, as fears mounted over the stability of towers at the Dale Farm milk-processing plant.

An unsafe roof also forced the closure of the Sweep Road in Cookstown, with motorists diverted.

There were also several powers cuts in the area.

David Dobbin, Dale Farm’s Group Chief Executive said, “We can confirm that the very high winds this morning caused a large empty milk silo to break loose of its foundations. The strong winds made it very difficult for our engineers to secure the silo. We have now been able to stabilise the silo and it is under control.

“As a precaution, during the period we were working to secure the silo, the PSNI closed the main carriageway from Moneymore to Cookstown and evacuated a single neighbouring house. We can now confirm that the carriageway has been reopened and any risk to local residents and road users has passed.

“Clearly safety was and is our primary concern. Full production was able to continue at the Dunmanbridge site and apart from some minor damage to the silo which broke loose we can confirm that no injury, major damage or loss of milk has occurred.”