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Thousands Of Homes Left Without Power By Storm Aileen

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

The first named storm of the year brought heavy rain and high winds overnight, with commuters warned to take care following the severe weather.

Many parts of England and Wales, where weather warnings had been issued, saw gusts of between 55 to 65 mph, 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.

Northern Powergrid – which covers the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – said 7,400 homes had lost power overnight, while it is still working to restore power to 800 customers.

Electricty North West said 1,067 homes had been affected and 256 houses in Buxton, Macclesfield and Leigh are still without power.

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 railway lines in the south of England and 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.