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20,000 homes left without power as Storm Abigail sweeps in

By Paul Ward

High winds and lightning strikes left more than 20,000 homes without power as Storm Abigail swept across Britain yesterday.

The Highlands and Islands were worst hit by gusts of 84mph while the rest of the UK experienced thundery showers as a result of Britain's first named storm.

Met Office weather warnings were in place for large parts of Scotland but the storm appears to have passed without causing major disruption on the mainland.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution restored electricity to more than 20,000 properties during Thursday night and Friday morning in the Western Isles, Shetland, Skye, Colonsay, Argyll and Angus.

About 500 customers remain off supply with engineers continuing to work to restore power. All schools in Shetland and the Western Isles were closed yesterday as the local council prepared for the storm. Communities in northern England face the risk of significant river flooding this weekend as heavy rain is expected to fall on already saturated ground.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings centred on North Wales, north west England, south west Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Many areas covered by the warning are likely to see 2.8-3.9in (70-100mm) of rain, while some more exposed parts of North Wales and north west England could see as much as 5.9-7.9in (150-200mm). Such heavy rain on already saturated ground is likely to lead to flooding from standing water or from rivers bursting their banks, the Met Office warns.

Belfast Telegraph


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