Storm Eunice: Millions across UK told to stay home as severe winds hit

Millions of people have been told to stay at home as one of the worst storms in decades, Storm Eunice, hits the UK.

Rare red weather warnings – meaning there is a danger to life from flying debris – have been issued by the Met Office covering much of southern and eastern England, and south Wales.

Gusts of up to 92mph have been recorded on the Isle of Wight.

Hundreds of schools are closed and travel networks are experiencing cancellations and major disruption.

Power cuts have left thousands of properties in south-west England and south Wales without power.

BBC Weather said Eunice “could well be one of the worst storms in three decades”.

It is the second storm in a week for the UK after Storm Dudley battered parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, leaving thousands of homes without power.

The Met Office has issued several weather warnings across the UK:

  • A red warning for wind – the highest level of alert – along the coastline of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset and south Wales from 07:00 GMT until 12:00 on Friday with gusts of up to 90mph
  • A further red warning for wind has been issued for London, south-east England and parts of east England from 10:00 until 15:00
  • An amber warning for wind covering all of England south of Manchester and Wales until 21:00 with gusts of up to 80mph
  • A yellow warning for snow for much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England from 03:00 until 18:00
  • A yellow warning for wind in the Midlands, north-east England, north-west England, parts of Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland from 07:00 until 18:00 with gusts of up to 70mph
  • A yellow warning for wind covering London, south-east England, south-west England, Wales and parts of the West Midlands from 06:00 to 18:00 on Saturday
Map showing weather warnings for Storm Eunice

Red weather warnings are rare, and mean that roofs could be blown off, power lines brought down and trees uprooted – as well as flying debris which could cause a danger to life.

The last red warning was for Storm Arwen in November last year, but before that one had not been issued since the so-called “Beast from the East” in 2018.

BBC Weather meteorologist Ben Rich said he expected Eunice to “cause damage, huge disruption and coastal flooding” – but he said it was “impossible to know exactly how bad this storm is going to be”.

“Winds of the same strengths will cause different impacts in different regions of the UK – for example, coasts of western Scotland are far better prepared for 80mph winds than inland parts of southern England.”

BBC Wales weatherman Derek Brockway said although Eunice was not a hurricane, winds would reach hurricane force level.

People have been warned to “tie down” objects in their gardens, fasten doors and windows and keep cars locked in garages if possible away from trees and walls.

And the Met Office said people should avoid travelling if they could and stay at home when winds reach the highest speeds.

Hundreds of schools are staying shut on Friday due to the high winds in much of Wales and affected areas of England, including in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and Bristol.

Source: BBC

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