Devon and Cornwall power cuts and travel disruption from Storm Isha

Image source, James Kitto

Image caption,

Big waves were seen hitting Porthleven, Cornwall

Storm Isha has left homes without power, trees down, roads blocked and flights and trains cancelled in Devon and Cornwall.

A wind speed of 91mph (146km/h) was recorded at Gwennap Head, near Land’s End in Cornwall, with up to 70mph (112km/h) around the region.

‘Like a monsoon’

Tree surgeon Paul Wright, whose firm Teign Trees dealt with at least 22 incidents in the South Hams and Newton Abbot areas, said conditions were “absolutely appalling”.

“One of the hardest things last night was the rain which was horizontal at times, like a monsoon,” he told BBC Radio Devon.

Teign Trees was among at least seven tree surgeon firms clearing roads around Devon.

“We’ve had 15 gangs out and we’re not a massive company so it’s all hands on deck,” said Mr Wright who worked through the night and was taking more calls as the morning rush-hour started.

Image source, Andrew Giles

Image caption,

Andrew Giles and his family were sent from Newquay to Stansted to get their flight to Portugal

Network Rail said it was investigating and could not yet say whether the damage was storm-related.

“We will reopen the line as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said a spokesperson.

“Currently it’s expected that it will remain closed for the rest of the day.”

Some of the highest wind speeds recorded were 86mph (138km/h) on St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly, 69mph (111km/h) at Chivenor in north Devon, 66mph (106km/h) at Plymouth and 61mph (98km/h) at Camborne, said BBC South West meteorologist Bee Tucker.

At airports in south-west England, Bristol and Newquay have had services cancelled or delayed by the weather.

Image caption,

A yellow wind warning is in place until midday

Andrew Giles and his family were among those affected by flight cancellations at Cornwall Airport Newquay.

Their Ryanair flight to Portugal had been due to leave at 16:05 GMT on Sunday but they were put on a bus to Stansted in Essex where they got a flight at 08:45 GMT.

Mr Giles, from Looe, Cornwall, said it had been “absolute chaos” at Stansted with many others affected by flights disruption.

“We were given meal vouchers but they weren’t accepted by any shop here. They were only for Newquay,” he said.

“We felt very neglected by everyone at the airport.

“There were families with very small children and older people with wheelchair needs who were just overlooked as well.”

Ryanair said it was “working hard to re-accommodate affected passengers” and advised passengers to check the Ryanair app for the latest updates on their flight.

A spokesperson said: “Ryanair sincerely apologises to all passengers affected by these storm-related disruptions which are entirely beyond our control and have impacted all airlines operating to/from the UK and Ireland.”

Image source, Ollie Yates

Image caption,

Ollie Yates: People were crying on his flight which was diverted after an aborted landing at Bristol

BBC South West presenter Ollie Yates said he had a “flight from hell” returning from Krakow in Poland on Sunday.

He said it was “scary” descending to Bristol Airport at about 18:30 GMT.

“There was a lot of anxiety, there was panic, people were crying,” he said.

After a couple of attempts to land, with the plane “pulling up very fast”, the flight was diverted to Stansted where the plane got down on the second attempt at about 20:30 GMT.

He managed to hire a car, arriving at Bristol Airport at about 05:00 GMT and getting home at about 08:00 GMT.

“I’m going to have a good sleep now,” he said.

“There will be a few people on that flight who will be thinking twice about flying again but credit to the captain and the crew.

“They did an amazing job.”

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