Belfast Telegraph

Storm Eleanor leaves thousands without power as cold snap looms

Storm Eleanor brought gale-force winds to Britain, plunging tens of thousands of homes into darkness and disrupting travel as clear-up efforts continue.

Heavy rain and gusts of up to 90mph swept across the UK overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday evening.

Forecasters warned that more severe weather is on the way, with a cold snap this weekend bringing plummeting temperatures and widespread frost.

The Met Office said it will be -10C in Scotland, gradually warming to -3C in the south of England on Saturday night.

Storm Eleanor caused power cuts to around 25,000 properties in Northern Ireland, including 1,700 that were still without electricity on Wednesday evening.

"Our emergency crews will be working throughout the night to restore power to the remaining customers without electricity," Northern Ireland Electricity said.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said 22,000 homes lost power in southern England, all of which have been restored.

The distributor added that 700 households were without power for more than six hours and there were 53 high voltage faults.

There were 41,000 customers across the south west and Midlands areas who were hit by blackouts in around 1,072 incidents which have all been resolved, Western Power Distribution said.

A total of 11,310 houses lost power in the north east of England and all were restored by Wednesday afternoon, according to Northern Powergrid.

Another 90 suffered power cuts in the north west and have since been restored, Electricity North West said.

Wind speeds reached 90mph at Orlock Head in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening, the Met Office said.

Gusts up to 89mph were recorded on the Isle of Wight and gusts of more than 70mph were recorded across much of the UK.

Fallen trees caused a number of road closures and injuries, including to a man in Worcestershire and another in Wales, according to the Met Office.

A harbour wall collapsed in Portreath, Cornwall, and a respite centre was set up for seafront residents at risk of flooding although the high tide was not as bad as feared.

The Severn River Crossing and the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk were closed in the early hours due to strong winds.

A body was recovered from the sea near Splash Point in Seaford, East Sussex, on Wednesday morning.

It is not yet clear whether the person was swept into the water by the weather conditions.

Flooding risks could remain for coastal areas for several days, the Environment Agency has warned, as it urged people not to attempt "storm selfies".

Flood duty manager Neil Davies said: "As the unsettled weather continues, large waves combined with high tides could lead to coastal flooding over the next few days, particularly in the west and south-west of England.

"We urge people to stay safe on the coast, take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades, and don't put yourself in unnecessary danger trying to take 'storm selfies'."

The Environment Agency had 17 flood warnings in place on Wednesday evening, along with 126 flood alerts.

The Thames Barrier was closed to protect London from flooding.

Nationwide rail services, including one of the main routes into London, were also disrupted by debris fallen on tracks.

Overhead wires between Hayes and Harlington and London Paddington were damaged by the storm, forcing journeys to be delayed.

A fallen tree on the line caused major delays on Wednesday between Cambridge and Kings Cross in London.


From Belfast Telegraph