Homes left without power as Ophelia strikes on 30th anniversary of Great Storm
Storm Ophelia is to batter the UK and Ireland with gusts of up to 80mph with troops placed on standby.
Scores of homes were without power, schools have been closed, fallen trees blocked roads and bridges were shut after Storm Ophelia hit the UK mainland.
Remnants of the hurricane battered Britain’s west coast on Monday afternoon, with gusts of up to 80mph, exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 killed 18 people.
Around 200 properties in Wales suffered power cuts, a number of schools closed early and the Cleddau Bridge was shut to high-sided vehicles, Pembrokeshire County Council said.
Flood warnings are also in place along the Pembrokeshire coast and fallen trees blocked some roads.
Planes have been grounded at Manchester Airport, with 20 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead.
Ireland was braced for the worst of the weather, with schools closed and around 130 flights cancelled at Dublin airport.
Schools and colleges were closed in Northern Ireland, which is covered with an amber weather warning, meaning there is a “potential risk to life and property”, issued when forecasters believe people need to be prepared to change their plans and protect themselves from the impacts of severe weather.
The storm is expected to move across to Wales, northern England and Scotland throughout Monday.
High winds are expected across the entire region, while a yellow warning is in place for much of Wales, Scotland, north east England, north west England, south west England and the West Midlands.
Parts of Scotland and Wales have also been upgraded to amber.
Forecasters are warning of flying debris, such as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts with beach material being thrown on to coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.
Some flights are subject to cancellation today due to #Ophelia - please check with your airline for the latest information.— Manchester Airport (@manairport) October 16, 2017
“The centre of Ophelia will be to the south-west of Ireland on Monday morning,” Met weatherman Grahame Madge said.
“It’s due to come over the west coast of Ireland around midday and as it goes through the day it will be centre over to the north of Northern Ireland.
“It will be gradually easing up into Scotland overnight and into Tuesday morning, it’s weakening as it goes.
“Parts of England, areas like the North West, are covered by a warning.
“The impacts will be felt in northern England into Tuesday.
“Winds will be 50-60mph, possibly gusting to 70mph, even in the yellow warning areas.”
Met Office forecaster Luke Miall said that while storms with these wind speeds tend to happen at this time of year, the one on its way is “quite a substantial system”, adding that he would describe it as “pretty exceptional”.
⚠️Weather warning⚠️ Flying to/from Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Tiree or Stornoway on 16/17 Oct? Read more https://t.co/DpHjYwquIo— Loganair (@FlyLoganair) October 15, 2017
Loganair in Scotland is offering free flight changes on routes that could be hit by the severe weather conditions.
The airline said at the moment it still intends operating a normal full schedule on Monday and Tuesday.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has three battalions, 1,200 personnel in total, permanently on standby to assist with contingencies.
But an MoD spokesman said it has not yet received requests from any local authority for assistance.
Flood alerts were issued for parts of Scotland including Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway and West Central Scotland.