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Storm Bella: Gusts of more than 100mph recorded in UK


Storm Bella: Gusts of more than 100mph recorded in UK

LT24::Gusts of more than 100mph have been recorded after Storm Bella brought heavy rain and high winds to large parts of the UK.

The Needles, on the Isle of Wight, saw gusts that reached 106mph (170kmh).

A yellow warning for snow and ice – meaning disruption is likely – has been issued by the Met Office for Northern Ireland and north Wales, north-west England and southern Scotland.

And train operators reported delays across southern England.

South Western Railway said heavy rain had “flooded the railway” between Bournemouth and Southampton, meaning cancellations and delays were expected all day.

South Western, Southeastern Railway and the London Overground all reported fallen trees and other debris blocking lines and causing disruption in various locations.

National Rail advised anyone travelling by train to check their journey before setting off.

In York flood defences were put in place as River Ouse water levels are expected to rise to about four metres above normal early on Monday.

Meanwhile, the ports of Dover and Calais warned Channel crossings had also been affected by the weather, with strong winds and poor visibility leading to a “risk of delays”.

Sporting events have also experienced disruption, with the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow being called off due to a waterlogged course.

A further yellow warning for snow and ice affecting travel was issued for much of Wales, the Midlands, the south of England and parts of the east of England from midnight on Sunday to 18:00 on Monday.

Anthony Gleave and his son Arthur, three, canoe along the flooded A1101 in Welney, Norfolk.I
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image captionThe A1101 in Welney, Norfolk, flooded after heavy rain
A Rolls Royce in Hove, beneath a tree felled by the stormI
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image captionA Rolls Royce in Hove, beneath a tree felled by Storm Bella
Across southern England, trees - like this one in Golders Green, London - were brought down by the stormI
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image captionAcross southern England, trees – like this one in Golders Green, London – were brought down by the storm

Heavy rain has already caused flooding in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire over the Christmas period.

Residents in 1,300 homes by the River Great Ouse in Bedfordshire were advised to move out following high water levels on Christmas Day.

Mayor of Bedford Borough Dave Hodgson told BBC Radio 5 Live that around 40 of those homes had gone on to receive flood damage.

He added that water levels in the area were “still high” on Sunday “but seem to be reducing at the moment”.

Severe flood warnings remain in place in Northamptonshire for the River Nene, at Billing Aquadrome – where more than 1,000 people were evacuated on Christmas Day because of flooding – and at Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site.

A further 110 flood warnings have been issued in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland.

Flooding near homes in Abbey Grounds, Cirencester, caused by the River Churn
image captionFlooding near homes in Abbey Grounds, Cirencester, caused by the River Churn

Elsewhere, in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, council officials have been providing sandbags for those at risk of flooding due to heavy rain, after more than 70 homes were without power on Christmas Day when an electricity substation flooded.

And up to 40 homes were flooded on Christmas Eve in Witney, Oxfordshire, where the Environment Agency has warned that river levels are still rising.

The Met Office said roads and railways in Northern Ireland, north Wales, north-west England and southern Scotland were “likely” to be affected by snow and ice until at least 10:00 on Monday.

Storm Bella is the second period of severe weather to be officially named by the UK’s Met Office this winter.

Cars drive through a flooded street in Great Barford, near Bedford,
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image captionA severe flood warning had been in place for the River Great Ouse at Bedford

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick urged people to check official advice, including from the Environment Agency, which asked people to keep away from “swollen rivers and flooded land”.

A statement on its website said: “It is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

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