UK hit by 80mph gales as pensioner found dead in flooded river

In Northern Ireland – Republic of Ireland and west Midlanders to be hit with more snow showers on Sunday

UK hit by 80mph gales as pensioner found dead in flooded river

The death toll from Storm Barra – which saw gale-force winds topple debris from a 10,000ft tall wind turbine and caused severe flooding – has risen to two, with a man found dead in a flooded river.

The 70-year-old from the Penicuik area of the Highlands of Scotland died overnight when he got into difficulties in the River Don following heavy rain and floodwaters.

Wind speeds of 80mph were recorded on Friday night – nearly 50mph above the force of a major Atlantic hurricane – and forecasters are warning the hurricane conditions will be joined by another wave of storms.

Leon Brown, forecaster for the Met Office, said: “Strong winds will persist across the UK through Saturday night and into Sunday.

What impact will Sandy have on Britain this weekend? Read more

“As another low pressure system develops around Iceland on Sunday we are likely to see a sharp increase in the wind speeds between eastern Scotland and north-west England, particularly along the west coast.

“The stronger winds will persist through Monday with gusts of around 80mph over the North Sea coasts and much of the south coast.”

He said thunderstorms were likely during the day in Wales, the north-west and south-west, as well as the east coast.

The focus is expected to move north and west towards the Irish coast on Sunday, though blustery showers are also possible. Brown said there were “strong signs” of further heavy showers and “the chance of a few heavy thunderstorms”.

He warned travellers to “pay close attention to the weather conditions”.

“It is too early to determine the impact on transport routes,” he said. “However, there is an ongoing risk of disruption to road, rail and air travel.

“We would urge people to continue checking the travel advice in their local area and to check with their operator for more information.”

On Saturday, the Met Office issued severe weather warnings for North Wales and parts of west England, north Wales and Yorkshire and Humber with winds of up to 70mph expected in coastal areas.

Police in Jersey have been battling after strong winds swept the island, causing flooding in several residential areas and ferry and local bus services.

Martin Pearce, the island’s police and government affairs director, said: “The situation is very difficult, with the weather conditions having a strong impact on our infrastructure.

“Our primary concern is for public safety as the weather conditions is having a strong impact on our infrastructure, causing additional public works to be carried out.”

Nottinghamshire firefighters have helped clear fallen trees and debris across the county after the high winds caused large branches to break off.

A man was also taken to hospital after the wind uprooted a tree on a footpath in Ascot.

In Scotland the following areas are at risk of flooding, with further alerts issued for hills and valleys in Northern Ireland and north-west England and north Wales.

Heavy rainfall is forecast in Wales, northern England and Scotland on Sunday and also into Monday.

Further deluges of rain – one to two inches of rain is expected – could lead to temporary river flooding, but no longer major flooding is expected.

The RAC have warned the heavy rains will have a severe impact on motorists, with problems with suspension failures on motorways, particularly in Yorkshire, and on small trundling roads where the wind is stronger.

Heavy snow showers are forecast across the west midlands and the Midlands. London could see heavy snow on Saturday, and even a warning is in place in Northern Ireland and south-west England.

The Met Office has also issued warnings for hail and snow, while a further yellow weather warning is in place for wind in Scotland until early evening on Sunday.

While the worst of the storms are expected to be over on Sunday, it will not be quite so grey for Christmas shoppers. Snow has been forecast on some North Sea beaches over the weekend, though sleet could change to rain in some areas.

Leave a Comment