| 16.1°C Belfast

Storm Francis moves on after battering UK with 81mph winds

A calmer day is expected on Wednesday.

Close

Waves crash at Beachy Head Lighthouse, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, as winds of up to 70mph are expected along the coast during the next 36 hours along with up to 90mm of rain as Storm Francis hit the UK.

Waves crash at Beachy Head Lighthouse, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, as winds of up to 70mph are expected along the coast during the next 36 hours along with up to 90mm of rain as Storm Francis hit the UK.

Waves crash at Beachy Head Lighthouse, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, as winds of up to 70mph are expected along the coast during the next 36 hours along with up to 90mm of rain as Storm Francis hit the UK.

Storm Francis has moved on after gusts of more than 80mph battered the UK.

Wind and rain are expected to lash much of the country overnight, but the worst of the weather is thought to be over.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for rain that cover Northern Ireland and parts of England, Wales and Scotland until 6am on Wednesday, while a yellow warning for wind is in place for much of England and Wales until 9am.

On Tuesday night, the Environment Agency had 36 flood alerts and five flood warnings in place for England.

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: “Francis has now pretty much moved off shore and it’s now just a slow gradual improvement.”

He said by the time people are up on Wednesday morning the weather should be gradually improving, but pointed out that it will take a while longer for eastern areas to see the winds fully calm down.

The strongest gusts recorded on Tuesday was the 81mph wind that hit The Needles near the Isle of Wight at around 8pm.

This is just short of the August record for the UK which was 87mph recorded in 1996.

Close

Waves crash against the shoreline at Portland Bill in Dorset (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Waves crash against the shoreline at Portland Bill in Dorset (Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA

Waves crash against the shoreline at Portland Bill in Dorset (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales, saw gusts of 75mph, equalling the Welsh August gust record of the 75mph recorded at Milford Haven in August 1979.

The wettest place on Tuesday was Bethesda in north Wales where 101mm of rain was recorded.

Meanwhile, the fire service in Northern Ireland said 37 people were rescued from flood water.

Elderly residents had to be rescued from the County Down coastal resort town of Newcastle after a river burst its banks, and in Draperstown, Co Londonderry, rescuers had to save nine people from inside a house, along with four outside who were trying to help.

A boat was used to help residents in Newcastle, a picturesque east coast town on the edge of the Mourne Mountains.

Up to 300 homes have been affected and streets left under three or four feet of water, a local representative said.

South Wales Police said they were involved in two separate water searches from the swollen River Taff and fire crews had to rescue holidaymakers from a flooded campsite in the town of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after river levels rose in the area.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said nine people and two dogs were rescued by fire service personnel using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.

Crews also gave medical treatment to one man and evacuated 30 other people from a flooded caravan site in Wiseman’s Bridge, Narberth, while 12 caravans were also removed from the site.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said that, until the middle of Wednesday, drivers need to brace themselves for some “very unpleasant” conditions on the roads.

“An amber weather warning covering a swathe of western Britain means there is a real risk of disruption to journeys from flying debris such as tree branches.

“Surface spray and perhaps some localised flooding are also possible,” he said.

PA