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Storm Brian: UK braced for gale-force winds and disruption


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PA

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Flood barriers are readied in Galway City

The UK is facing gale-force winds and possible flooding from Storm Brian – days after three people died in Ireland in the aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia.

Gusts of up to 70mph are predicted from Saturday morning, with forecasters warning of the potential for flooding, power cuts and transport disruption.

Strong wind warnings are in place across much of Britain, including Wales, south England and the Midlands.

Six flood warnings are in place across England, urging “immediate action”.

It comes after three people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people – mostly in the Irish Republic – were left without power after the remnants of Ophelia battered the British Isles.

‘Dangerous conditions’

The Met Office’s chief forecaster, Dan Suri, said gusts between 45mph (72km/h) and 55mph (88km/h) were forecast widely, while gusts of 60mph (96km/h) to 70mph (112km/h) were expected in exposed coastal areas.

“These are expected to coincide with high tides, leading to locally dangerous conditions in coastal parts,” he said.

In addition to the flood warnings, the Environment Agency has issued 42 flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible – most of which are in the west and south-west of England.

Flood barriers have been put in place in areas including Fowey in Cornwall, as south-western towns brace themselves to become some of the worst affected areas of the British Isles.

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PA

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An orange weather warning – the second most severe alert – has been put in place for seven Irish counties

Strong winds and high seas have already reached the western coast of Ireland.

Gusts could reach 130km/h (80mph) there, Irish weather agency Met √Čireann said.

It has issued an orange warning – its second most severe alert – in seven Irish counties.

But the winds due to be generated there “won’t be anywhere near as strong as Storm Ophelia,” the weather agency said.

Across the UK the National Rail warned the stormy weather could affect train services, with emergency speed restrictions imposed on most of the routes in Wales.

A spokesman said: “Fallen trees and other debris may temporarily block railway lines and damage overhead wires.

“Speed restrictions may be imposed in the worst affected areas for safety reasons, which may delay your journey.”

The Environment Agency’s national flood duty manager, Ben Lukey, warned people against posing for photos during the hazardous conditions.

He said: “We urge people to stay safe along the coast and warn against putting yourself in unnecessary danger by taking ‘storm selfies’ or driving through flood water – just 30cm (11in) is enough to move your car.”



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