Thousands Have Power Restored After Storm Aileen Brings High Winds

Thousands of homes were left without power and travel was disrupted as Storm Aileen hit the UK.

The first named storm of the year brought heavy rain and high winds overnight, with commuters warned to take care on their journeys.

Weather warnings were issued as many parts of England and Wales had gusts of 55mph to 65mph, the Met Office said.

Peak winds of 83mph were recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, while Mumbles in Wales recorded a top speed of 74mph.

Western Power Distribution restored power to 30,000 customers across the Midlands, South Wales and the South West between 10pm and 6am, while another 20,000 experienced interruptions of less than three minutes.

Northern Powergrid – which covers the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – said at least 7,400 homes lost power overnight and Electricty North West said around 1,300 homes were affected.

Heavy rain fell across the country overnight, with Bainbridge in North Yorkshire seeing 35.4mm and Walney Island in Cumbria recording 27.8mm.

Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples said: “That’s quite a high total, especially in September.

“The wind speeds as well – it’s probably a bit unusual to get that sort of strength of winds at this time of the year. You’d normally expect that in October or November.”

She said Storm Aileen had caused “widespread” problems, including surface water flooding, bringing trees and branches down, and causing “minor” damage to some homes.

The M48 Severn Crossing in south Gloucestershire and the Ouse Bridge on the M62 in East Yorkshire were closed due to high winds but have since been reopened.

Network Rail said some lines in the South and the Midlands may still face disruption due to “fallen trees and large branches” on the tracks.

As Storm Aileen moves into the North Sea on Wednesday, much of the UK will see improved conditions.

Ms Sharples said: “We are already seeing quite a lot of bright spells across the country. There’s quite a lot of showers still as well.

“It’s breezy and we’ve still got quite a stiff wind down the east coast as Aileen is departing eastwards.”

The North and West will see drier weather as high pressure moves in at the weekend, but the South East will remain wet.