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Storm Franklin to hit UK as Met Office issues amber weather warning for wind


Storm Franklin is set to hit the UK, with an amber weather warning issued for Northern Ireland, the Met Office has said.

It will begin in the early hours of Monday morning, with weather warnings also in place for counties on the Republic of Ireland’s west coast.

Franklin will bring “gale force westerly winds with severe and damaging gusts”, Met Eireann said, “combined with very high seas”.

There will also be heavy rain on Sunday and Monday, the Met Office said.

Franklin’s arrival comes just days after widespread damage caused by Storm Eunice.

Power companies have revealed that a record 1.3 million homes were affected by cuts on Friday during the worst of Eunice.

The Energy Networks Association said that 1.22 million customers have been reconnected but around 155,000 remained without power on Sunday evening.

Among them were 34,000 customers in southeast England, 42,000 in eastern England, 44,000 in southwest England, 19,000 in southern England, and 13,000 in South Wales.

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Thousands still without power

Western Power Distribution said the South West saw the most widespread power cut ever recorded.

The company said power had been restored to nearly 461,000 of its customers, and work was continuing to restore supply to the remaining 60,000.

Operations director Graham Halladay said: “Storm Eunice has brought some of the worst conditions we have ever seen – it is truly unprecedented.

“But I would like to reassure customers that we are working round the clock to get the lights back on as quickly as we can safely do so.”

The storm saw a record wind gust of 122mph at The Needles on the Isle of Wight on Friday, and at least four people were killed in the UK and Ireland.

A view of part of a flat roof from a nearby block of flats which was blown off and landed on a house in Bitterne, Southampton, as Storm Eunice brought damage, disruption and record-breaking gusts of wind to the UK and Ireland, leading to the deaths of at least four people. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022Image:
Part of a roof from a nearby block of flats landed on a house in Bitterne, Southampton

A number of Met Office weather warnings are in place for the coming days:

• A yellow warning for rain covering Cumbria, Lancashire, and West Yorkshire until 6pm on Sunday, with a chance of flooding and difficult driving conditions

• A yellow warning for wind in Northern Ireland, southwest Scotland and Irish Sea coasts from midday on Sunday until midday on Monday, with a slight chance of damage to property and power cuts

• A yellow warning for wind across most of England and Wales from midday on Sunday until 3pm on Monday, with damage and disruption possible

Damaged house in BrentwoodImage:
A house in Brentwood was damaged after a tree fell onto it

Sunday could see gales of up to 70mph in parts of England – the same speed recorded at Heathrow on Friday as thousands of people tuned in to YouTube channel Big Jet TV to see planes trying to land.

Speaking on Saturday, Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “We will see a slight easing in the wind over the evening time tonight, but it’s not long before they pick up again tomorrow to lead to another windy day across the UK.

“This will have an impact on the clearing up process over the course of the day.”

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Storm Eunice: How the day unfolded

Rail disruption is also expected to continue on Sunday:

• Great Western Railway trains will have a 50mph speed restriction resulting in a reduced service with delays and cancellations

• CrossCountry routes will be open, except for trains between Bristol and Exeter

• Southern Rail: no trains between Redhill and Tonbridge; no trains between Dorking and London Victoria; no trains between Ore and Ashford until at least 8am; no trains between Horsham and Epsom via Dorking until at least 8am; trains will not call at Battersea Park in the direction of Sutton/West Croydon; trains will not call at Christ’s Hospital; trains will not call at Hever or Cowden until 8am; rail replacement buses will continue between Three Bridges and Brighton/Lewes.

• Southeastern Railway said trains between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells would be suspended until at least midday, while the Canterbury East line will also be partly suspended until at least midday

• Great Northern said there would be no trains between Stevenage and Hertford North – and a reduced service between London Kings Cross, Cambridge, Ely, Kings Lynn.

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