03/01/2018 07:37 GMT

Storm Eleanor Batters UK With ‘Violent’ Winds Amid Disruption To Roads And Rail

Storm Eleanor has lashed the UK with “violent” storm-force winds of up to 90mph, leaving thousands of homes without power and hitting transport links.

Widespread disruption is expected on Wednesday after the storm swept across the country overnight carrying heavy rain, hail and dramatic thunder and lighting with it.

Several major bridges were closed due to high winds, while there were numerous reports of fallen trees blocking roads including the M25.

(PA Graphics)

Overturned vehicles forced closures on the A1M, the M6 and the M5, where a recovery operation was under way to clear up the contents of a lorry left spilled on the road.

Meanwhile an object in the overhead lines between London Paddington and Hayes reduced the number of trains leaving the major hub, while power outages halted rail services between Letchworth Garden City and Cambridge.

A yellow warning of wind is in place for all of England and Wales, most of Northern Ireland and the Scottish Borders until 6pm on Wednesday.

The Met Office said gusts reached 90mph at Orlock Head in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening, while an 89mph gust was recorded on the Isle of Wight at around midnight.

In Northolt, north-west London, speeds of up to 73mph were detected and gusts over 50mph were recorded in High Bradfield, South Yorkshire.

Meteorologist Becky Mitchell said the risk of more “violent storm-force gusts” had subsided and an amber wind warning has been lifted, although the potential for strong winds and disruption continues.

“Storm Eleanor has swept through and the eye is now crossing the North Sea, although there will continue to be strong gusts through the day,” she said.

“We have seen some heavy showers push through across the south of the UK along with hail, loud thunder and lightning, which has woken people up.

“There have also been reports of power outages in Northern Ireland and road closures including the QEII Bridge (Dartford Crossing).

“It is possible there will be quite widespread disruption this morning and it is worth checking before you travel.”

As well as the problems posed by high winds, the Environment Agency has issued 50 flood warnings and 110 flood alerts, with coastal areas under threat from a combination of a high tide and large waves.

Isle of Man Police said infrastructure staff worked through the night to remove trees from the island’s roads, while there were multiple reports of roofs coming off buildings, flooding and mud debris.

The States of Jersey Police said multiple roads remain closed due to fallen trees, stormy weather and high waves.