Forecourts took a battering in the 90mph winds of Storm Imogen with several having to close because of damage to their canopies.

In Cheddar Valley, the Simply Fresh/BP site at Weare had to close at 1pm on Tuesday after the wind ripped a panel off the underside of the canopy.

Simon Lunn, owner and manager of the site, said he took the decision to close in the interest of public safety after the sheet came loose, and the whole canopy was shaking in the high wind.

The site remained closed for the rest of Tuesday and opened at around 9am on Wednesday – two and half hours later than normal, with three pumps under the damaged area coned off.

He said two panels had been ripped off by the wind, exposing cables for the lighting and CCTV, but thankfully no further damage was caused.

When he spoke to Forecourt Trader he was waiting for an engineer to attend but said he had been told his site was one of six forecourts requiring attention.

Further east, in East Sussex and Kent, fire crews were called out as metal sheeting was blown off forecourt canopies in Polegate and Seabrook.

Dave Morgan, director of FMS (Forecourt Maintenance Services) said they had been called out to six sites in Devon and Cornwall where damage had been reported.

He said: “The last storm we had it was mainly pole signs being blown through, but this time it is under sheeting being ripped off canopies.”

He had taken a call from South Wales where the fire service had attended to assess damage to a canopy, but had not been able to help as his team were already fully committed.

Sean Kearney, business development director at ID maintenance, said they had also been called out to a number of sites.

He said it was impossible to repair 4x8ft panels during the high winds, because they act like sails, but now the wind had subsided they were mopping up the damage.