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Travel disruption to continue after Storm Ciara

Parts of the UK are braced for blizzards and snow.


Windy weather on the Ayrshire coast at Ardrossan

Windy weather on the Ayrshire coast at Ardrossan

Windy weather on the Ayrshire coast at Ardrossan

Parts of the UK are braced for blizzards and up to 20cm of snow in the wake of Storm Ciara, with travel disruption set to continue.

Some areas saw a month-and-a-half’s rainfall in just 24 hours and gusts of more than 90 miles per hour swept across the country on Sunday, bringing widespread flooding.

Thousands of people were left without power, some homes were evacuated, buildings were damaged and sporting occasions postponed.

Flights, ferries and trains all saw cancellations and delays, while drivers faced treacherous conditions with floodwater, fallen trees and other debris closing roads.

A Met Office amber weather warning for wind, which had been in place across most of England, elapsed at 9pm Sunday as Storm Ciara moved away to the north-east of Scotland.

Storm Ciara strongest gusts
(PA Graphics)

But a yellow warning for wind remained in force for the whole UK until midnight, with strong winds, heavy showers, snow and ice expected on Monday.

A yellow warning for heavy snow and strong winds is in place for Northern Ireland and most of Scotland and a yellow warning of snow and ice is in force for North West England throughout Monday and Tuesday.

A yellow warning for wind in the south is in place between 10am and 5pm Monday.

Flooded streets in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria
Flooded streets in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “While Storm Ciara is clearing away, that doesn’t mean we’re entering a quieter period of weather.

“It’s going to stay very unsettled.

“We have got colder air coming through the UK and will be feeling a real drop in temperatures, with an increased risk of snow in northern parts of the UK and likely in Scotland.

(PA Graphics)

“There could be up to 20cm on Monday and Tuesday and with strong winds, blizzards aren’t out of the question.”

Train passengers are being advised to check with operators before travelling as there are likely to be some cancellations to early trains as Network Rail engineers work through the night to assess the damage.

Motorists are also warned to take care with continued disruption to the road network and tricky driving conditions likely to continue into rush hour.

Traffic passes through water on the A66 near Bowes in County Durham
Traffic passes through water on the A66 near Bowes in County Durham (Owen Humphreys/PA)

And airports around the country on Sunday night told travellers to check their flight with their airline due to the continuing bad weather conditions.

British Airways said in a statement there will be a “minor knock-on effect” to Monday’s schedule.

“We’re getting in touch with those affected, and have brought in extra customer teams to help them with a range of options including a full refund or an alternative flight between now and Thursday,” the airline said.

“Any customer flying short-haul to or from Heathrow or Gatwick, can also choose to make changes to their travel plans if they would prefer to fly another time.”

More than 200 flood warnings were issued across England on Sunday, with the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, in Cumbria, severely hit.

The River Irwell burst its banks at Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, while areas including Blackpool, Whalley, Longton and Rossendale,  were affected by flooding in Lancashire.

Crashing waves blown by heavy winds
Gusts of 97mph were recorded in some places (Cameron Smith/PA)

The fastest gusts of 97 miles per hour were recorded on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, with 93 miles per hour winds hitting Aberdaron, a village at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula.

Inland, Manchester Airport recorded gusts of 86 miles per hour, while 178mm of rain fell in Honister Pass, in Cumbria, in the 24 hours to 4pm on Sunday – around one-and-a-half times the average February rainfall of 112mm.

Some 539,000 people experienced a power cut on Sunday with 118,000 left without power by 4pm across the whole of the UK, according to Energy Networks.

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