More travel misery amid storms

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Commuters face travel misery this morning due to high winds and heavy rain as severe weather continues to batter the UK.

Gale force gusts of up to 75mph are expected overnight, threatening to cause travel disruption for railway users in the south of the country.

Drivers in Scotland, north Wales and the north of England are also being warned to allow extra time for their journeys due to ice on the road.

The Met Office issued a yellow “be aware” warning for today, with high probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and some snow continuing until Sunday morning.

Railway lines between Weymouth and Southampton, Exeter to Salisbury and Southampton and Portsmouth are expected to be among the worst hit, South West Trains said.

The operator is sending out empty passenger trains before services begin to check that the lines are safe and clear.

Specialist response crews will be deployed, including chainsaw teams and railway maintenance and first response staff.

It comes after power was restored yesterday to thousands of homes left without electricity after a “weather bomb” of gales and lightning strikes swept the north of the country.

Properties in the Western Isles and Skye were the worst affected by the stormy conditions along the west coast of Scotland over the last two days.

At the peak of the problems around 30,000 homes lost electricity, while a further 27,000 were cut off after a lightning strike yesterday morning.

Hundreds of engineers worked to restore supplies across the Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and rural areas, only for lightning to cause additional disruption.

An SSE spokesman said yesterday: “Engineers have now restored power supplies to around 27,000 customers who were without supply this morning in Skye and the Western Isles.

“Continued lightning across the Western Isles and the north west of Scotland through the day means that further faults are likely. We aim to restore all supplies as quickly as possible when faults occur.

“We would like to thank all customers who have been without electricity this morning for their patience and understanding.”

A wind speed of 144mph was recorded on the remote St Kilda islands on Wednesday, with gusts of more than 80mph also hitting some low-lying areas.

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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