Storm Arwen: Hurricane-force winds hit Britain

Storm Arwen: Hurricane-force winds hit Britain

A man died because a tree fell when Storm Arwen hit Britain with high winds, rain and snow.

A man died after a tree fell on his car in Northern Ireland, and in Scotland, 80,000 people lost power because of gale force winds, and police warned people to refrain from driving.

In Northumberland, gusts reached 98 mph, and about 120 trucks were stuck in snow near Rochdale.

New warnings for wind, snow and ice are expected across the U.K. on Saturday.

A rare “red” wind warning was issued by the Meteorological Office for the east coast of Scotland and northeast England, with maximum wind speeds reaching 98 mph at Breezley Wood in Northumberland.

Wind gusts overnight affected “a wide area of the United Kingdom,” the Meteorological Office said, damaging buildings and falling trees.

Wind speeds of 87 mph were recorded in Orlock Head, County Down, while Inverbervie on Scotland’s northeast coast had speeds of 78 mph and gusts of 77 mph in Aberport, Wales.

LNER advised customers not to travel until Monday – weekend tickets are valid through Wednesday – as it stopped trains outside Newcastle Friday night.

ScotRail also stopped trains between Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness on Friday, and there were outages on other lines.

It snowed in parts of Scotland and northern England, with heavy snow in elevated sections.

A portion of the M62 near Rochdale between Junctions 21 and 22 was closed as 120 trucks were stuck in the snow.

According to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, about 80,000 homes in Scotland were without power, while Northern Electricity Networks of Great Britain also reported 55,000 customers out, mostly in Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear. Northern Ireland also saw power outages.

Network Rail closed the route north of Berwick-upon-Tweed at 5 p.m. GMT and warned that further closures were possible on other sections of the route.

Avanti West Coast, which serves the West Coast Mainline, reported no problems on its cross-border routes, but there were outages on the CrossCountry line between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Warwick Dent, LNER’s director of safety and operations, urged customers to postpone travel if possible, as “traffic is expected to be extremely busy” over the weekend.

The rail line between Keith and Elgin in northern Scotland has been blocked by a landslide, and Network Rail said engineers are assessing the damage.

A red alert, in effect along the east coast from Middlesbrough to Aberdeen, was in effect until 0200 Saturday, prompting Police Scotland to warn people not to travel “under any circumstances.”

On Saturday, an amber warning is in effect for the northeast coast of Scotland and England and the southwest coast of England and Wales until 09:00 a.m. GMT.

The warning means strong winds are expected, which could lead to traffic disruptions and damage.

A yellow warning, meaning traffic disruptions and damage are possible, has been issued for winds across much of the U.K. until 6 p.m.

Windy rain is expected in the north of Scotland on Saturday morning and snow is expected in southwest Scotland and northern parts of England.

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