Storm Isha: Two dead and thousands left without power

  • By James Gregory & Jeremy Culley
  • BBC News

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Watch: Dramatic videos show Storm Isha damage so far

Storm Isha has left thousands of people without power in the UK after bringing heavy rain and winds up to 99mph.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, north-west England and Wales were all badly hit, and some in remote areas were warned they may have no power until Tuesday.

Further disruption is expected, as Storm Jocelyn approaches bringing more strong winds and rain to the UK.

Amber warnings are in place across northern and western parts of the UK as the storm develops in the wake of Isha.

In the most exposed areas, Jocelyn – the tenth named storm since September – is expected to bring gusts of wind of between 55 and 65mph (89 and 105km/h). And there will be yet more rainfall.

“We could see another 50-100mm of rain in the wettest parts,” warned BBC Weather’s Helen Willetts

Gust speeds are not forecast to top levels seen during the height of Isha, which saw 99mph (159km/h) recorded by the Met Office at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland.

Transport Scotland said a gust of 107mph (172km/h) was recorded on the Tay Bridge in Dundee. Parts of the UK experienced their strongest winds in more than a decade.

In Cramlington, in Northumberland, a 26-year-old driver was left in critical condition after two cars hit a fallen tree early on Monday morning.

About 30,000 properties were left without power across England, Wales and Scotland, according to Energy Networks Association (ENA) – which represents energy providers – although many were reconnected to the network over the course of the day.

But Lawrence Slade, from ENA, said some properties might remain without power until Tuesday, particularly in remote areas.

He said it had been difficult to coordinate engineer teams because the storm had affected large swathes of the UK. Two Met Office amber warnings took effect at 18:00 GMT on Sunday, covering the entirety of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and large parts of England.

“We’ve got to get engineers out but we can only do that when it is safe, when the winds have dropped down sufficiently,” Mr Slade told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday.

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Storm Jocelyn on the way for Tuesday

Transport services largely recovered on Monday, though some roads remained closed and rail lines blocked leading to continued disruption through the rush hour.

ScotRail said its rail services would be suspended from 19:00 GMT on Tuesday due to Storm Jocelyn, with no rush hour services on Wednesday morning. The rail company tweeted that affected tickets can be used at other times this week.

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Some of County Antrim’s iconic Dark Hedges trees – made famous by TV’s Game of Thrones – were felled in the storm

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High-sided vehicles, including this one in Doncaster, were overturned by the winds

As Storm Jocelyn approaches, the Met Office has issued an amber warning for wind – the second highest – across parts of northern Scotland, which will take effect at 18:00 on Tuesday. Two other yellow warnings for the rest of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and large parts of England have also been issued.

Meanwhile, there are yellow warnings for rain covering north-west England and the west coast of Scotland on Tuesday.

BBC Weather presenter Helen Willetts said: Already the next area of rain is coming in to the north and west, that’s Storm Jocelyn.

“The winds are expected to gust up to 70 or 80mp/h in the most exposed parts. It’s going to be another spell of windy weather, wet weather as well.”

Heavy rain this week could also lead to flooding, the Met Office said.

On Monday, the Environment Agency issued 19 flood warnings, where flooding is expected, and 85 flood alerts, where flooding is possible. More than 20 flood warnings were in place in Scotland.

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Several areas have been badly hit by flooding, including here at Warwick Bridge in Cumbria…

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… where this unfortunate motorist became caught up in it

Storm Jocelyn becomes the tenth named storm of the season. If two more are named between now and August, it will mark a new record.

The Met Office names storms when they have the potential to cause disruption or damage. The agency says it is easier for people to follow the progress of a storm on TV, radio or social media if it has a name.

“In terms of naming storms, the UK has reached the letter ‘H’ earlier than in any previous season,” BBC Weather presenter Darren Bett said.

“This season could see the highest number of storms since the naming of storms started in 2015. Coincidentally, it was that year that brought a record 11 storms – up to the letter K,” he said.

Storm Jocelyn, however, was likely to pass a little further to the north of Scotland and not be as intense, he added.

The impact of climate change on the frequency of storms is unclear but a warming atmosphere makes extreme rainfall more likely. The world has warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began.

What preparations are you making for the storm? Have your travel plans been affected? Share your experiences by emailing [email protected].

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