London, Feb 9 (IANS) Multiple flood alerts were issued, all forms of travel disrupted, power supply hit and various sporting events cancelled due to the heavy rain and severe gales as storm Ciara hit the UK on Sunday, reports said.
Airlines have cancelled dozens of flights, several rail firms have urged passengers not to travel, ferry passengers faced delays and cancellations, and drivers have been warned to take extra care, the BBC reported.
As many as 12,279 customers of Western Power Distribution in England’s East and West Midlands, the southwest and as well as south Wales do not have any electricity. In the UK as a whole more than 137,000 people lost power overnight, but energy companies said more than 99,000 had been reconnected, the report said.
More than 250 flood warnings have been issued around the UK – meaning that flooding is expected – with more than 200 in England, more than 60 in Scotland, and 17 in Wales, including a severe warning for the River Nidd at Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, where the waters are expected to rise to 5.1m, overtopping flood defences and possibly posing a “danger to life”.
Large parts of the UK have an amber warning for very strong winds, with gusts reaching more than 90mph in some places.
The BBC quoted Met Office’s Alex Burkill as saying said the size of the amber warning was very unusual, and showed how widespread Ciara’s impact would be.
“It’s not just coastal parts which are likely to see gusts of 70-80mph, but even inland areas, which don’t usually see those strengths of wind,” he said, adding that these winds, combined with heavy rain would cause significant problems around the country.
Already more than 100mm of rain has fallen in some parts of northern England and north Wales.
Various sporting events called off or postponed because of the adverse weather include Manchester City’s Premier League match against West Ham, Scotland’s Women’s Six Nations match against England, four Women’s Super League matches, horse racing at Exeter, Southwell and Punchestown and The London Winter Run 10k.
Heathrow Airport said it had taken the joint decision with its airline partners to operate a reduced timetable to minimise the number of flights cancelled at short notice.
British Airways has cancelled flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, while Virgin Atlantic has posted a number of cancelled flights on its website.
Network Rail has imposed a blanket speed restriction of 50mph across the network on Sunday, warning passengers to only travel by train that day “if absolutely necessary”.
Flooding and debris on the tracks have caused delays and cancellations to many services.
In Perth, three people were hurt after part of a pub roof collapsed, though none were seriously injured.
On the roads, the Humber Bridge in East Yorkshire was closed for only the second time in its history. It has reopened to cars, but not to vans or lorries.
Various ferry services, including to France, have also been suspended or cancelled.
The Queen did not attend church in Sandringham, Norfolk, because of “public safety reasons” due to the weather.
Strong gusts of wind are expected to continue to hit Northern Ireland and most of Scotland on Monday, on which there are yellow warnings for wind and snow in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and snow and ice across northwest England.
The yellow warnings remain in place for much of Scotland, northern Ireland and parts of the north of England on Tuesday and Wednesday too.