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UK weather: high winds to batter coasts of Wales and southern England

UK weather: high winds to batter coasts of Wales and southern England

Gusts of up to 75mph are expected to batter the coasts of southern England and Wales this weekend as other parts of the UK continue to recover from the ravages of Storm Gerrit.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for high winds in the south-east, south-west, East Anglia and Wales from 11am on Saturday until 3am on Sunday, New Year’s Eve.

Separate yellow warnings were issued for sleet and snow in Scotland and rain in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

New Year’s Eve revellers have been urged to wrap up warm as conditions across many parts of the UK could feel close to freezing as clocks strike midnight.

The new warnings came as parts of the UK cleaned up after extreme weather wreaked havoc, including the deaths of three men whose 4×4 was submerged in a river in flood-hit North Yorkshire.

About 1,500 homes in Scotland experienced their second night without power while a lightning strike hit supplies in Wales on Thursday.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said it had restored supply to more than 46,000 properties that lost power due to the storm, with people in the north-east and Shetland worst affected. They said the remaining homes should be reconnected on Friday with welfare vans serving hot food and drink to affected customers.

Its operations director, Andy Smith, said: “This has been a difficult couple of days for the communities affected and I’m grateful to them for their patience and support as our teams work extremely hard to restore power.”

National Grid UK said 36,000 properties were without power in Ceredigion in west Wales on Thursday after lightning struck.

Roofs blown off houses as Storm Gerrit brings high winds and floods to UK – video

In Tameside, residents were still coming to terms with damage caused by a freak tornado which brought down trees and badly damaged roofs.

About 100 properties were damaged by what police called a “localised tornado” in Stalybridge and the village of Carrbrook.

Hayley McCaffer, 40, who lives in Carrbrook, said that some of her neighbours’ houses were an “absolute disaster” with missing roofs and “squished” cars.

Damage will be covered by standard property insurance policies, the Association of British Insurers said.

ScotRail said many lines had reopened but urged passengers to check for the latest information before travelling, a message echoed by LNER, Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway, which suspended or cancelled services due to damage or system faults.

There is likely to be significant disruption for travellers wishing to travel on the London Euston and Watford Junction lines, with services expected to be up and running by the end of the day.

Weir gates opened at Marsh Lock in Henley-on-Thames are to cope with rising water levels
Weir gates opened at Marsh Lock in Henley-on-Thames are to cope with rising water levels. Photograph: Geoffrey Swaine/Rex/Shutterstock

In Wales, the aftermath of the recent severe weather will affect rail services until Monday.

Ferry services also experienced cancellations and delays due to the storm, with operator DFDS confirming sailings between Dover and France were delayed due to strong winds in the Channel.

Air travel in and out of the UK was disrupted, with cancellations, but most services have returned to normal.

The Met Office said its Irish counterpart, Met Eireann, could name another storm – Storm Hank – as a “deep area of low pressure” pushes strong winds across the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

Meteorologist Alex Burkill said it would feel cold at night on New Year’s Eve and urged people to “wrap up quite warm” as there would definitely be “a chilly feel to things as the clock strikes midnight.”

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