Hurricane force winds have caused chaos across Britain, with hundreds of homes left without power, trees down, homes damaged, lorries overturned, and planes unable to land.
As gales blew at 125mph, more than 2,000 households were left without power in the North East and Scotland. Meanwhile, a truck was blown over in strong winds on the Forth Bridge close to Edinburgh. Thankfully, no one was injured in the accident, but a 54 year old man has been arrested following the crash. In rural Northumberland, trees were toppled and buildings were damaged.
The roof of department store Debenhams in Eldon Square, in the centre of Newcastle, was ripped off by the gusts, and Newgate Street had to be closed off in the city. Debris could be seen covering the street, which is normally busy with traffic, and police had cordoned off either end to prevent pedestrians or vehicles from entering.
In County Durham, bricks from the end of a house fell onto cars which had been parked overnight, causing their roofs to crumple. In West Yorkshire, police are reporting a high number of road closures. Trampolines had blown from gardens while, in Blaydon, Gateshead, a wooden stable block had blown into the middle of a road.
Snow on the way
Following strong winds, Britain is now being braced for snow, with forecasters saying that as much as eight inches could fall within the next few days. The storms have been causing traffic chaos on the roads, air and on the sea. Ferry company Caledonian MacBrayne said it was being forced to make cancellations because of the severe weather conditions.
While strong winds are due to drop off slightly during the afternoon, they are then expected to become stronger again, potentially bringing snow and even thunder and lightning. While Britain has largely been enjoying a mild winter, temperatures are expected to plummet.