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Storm Arwen - latest: Red warning expires even as 80,000 homes still without power

Storm Arwen batters UK with snow and high winds

The Met Office said on Saturday that the rare red warning for Storm Arwen has now expired, but added that the amber and yellow warnings for wind remain in place.

More than 80,000 homes in the UK are currently without electricity as a result of the storm.

The Met Office had earlier issued the red weather warning for parts of northern England and Scotland.

Forecasters have urged the public to be aware of the prospect of gale-force winds from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning with the first winter storm of the season set to batter the country, bringing snow of up to 15cm to higher ground.

Gusts had reached 78mph in some places by Friday evening, but are forecast to rise as high as 100mph with the alert, which stretches along the east coast from Newcastle upon Tyne to beyond Aberdeen, warning of flying debris that could result in a “danger to life”.

People have been urged to stay indoors and avoid driving.

On Friday, a driver in Antrim, Northern Ireland, was killed when a falling tree hit his car as strong winds buffeted the UK.

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More than 120 lorries stuck in snow as police shut motorway

The North West Motorway Police has said that around 120 lorries are stuck in the snow on the M62 at junctions 21 and 22 and urged motorists to avoid the area.

The M62 was closed in both directions between junctions 21 (Milnrow) and 22 (Denshaw), and police urged drivers to stay away from the area.

The North West Motorway Polic tweeted: “Heavy snow falling on M62 between junction 21 and 22, HGV’s unable to move. Highways England and gritters are on route [sic].”

Earlier a lorry overturned on the M62’s eastbound carriages near Junction 7, reports said.

Several crashes were also reported across the UK and many roads were closed due to the weather. In Northern Ireland, the headteacher of a primary school was killed when a tree feel on his car.

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More than 80,000 homes in the UK without power

More than 80,000 homes in the UK are currently without electricity as Storm Arwen continues to cause major disruptions.

Power supplier Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said that it has “moved to red alert status for its north of Scotland area following the impact of Storm Arwen, which continues to bring widespread disruption.”

On its website, SSEN said that as of 8pm Friday “SSEN has experienced over 250 high voltage faults due to fallen trees, branches, and other wind-blown debris striking network infrastructure.”

It added that “operational teams have restored power to over 30,000 customers, with 80,000 currently remaining off supply. The main areas affected are Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perthshire and the Moray Coast.”

Will Lang, the head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, had said earlier that the UK will see “temperatures drop to below average in the coming days, as cold air is drawn in from the north. This is coupled with the strong winds associated with Storm Arwen, which means it will feel especially cold in the wind.”

He added that areas in the north will see temperatures below freezing overnight, with daytime maximum temperatures only getting into the low single figures.

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Red warning for Storm Arwen expires

The Met Office said on Saturday that the red warning — the highest level — for Storm Arwen has now expired.

But it said that the amber and yellow warnings for wind remain in place.

“The red warning has now expired, but amber and yellow warnings for wind remain in place as Storm Arwen continues to bring some very strong gusts to many areas,” the Met Office tweeted on Saturday morning.

The office had earlier issued a red warning — which means that there was a potential risk to life.

Weather officials also said that “many roads remain closed so please only travel if absolutely necessary.”

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Motorists abandon vehicles due to impassable roads, say Derbyshire Police

Derbyshire Police have also taken to social media to advise motorists to avoid certain routes.

Some roads appear to have become impassable, with the force saying that some drivers had become stuck and had to abandon their vehicles.

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Stay inside and avoid driving, says Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Merseyside Fire & Rescue service have advised people to stay indoors and avoid driving due to the strong weather that is sweeping across the country.

Here’s the tweet they posted late on Friday evening:

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Gusts of 78mph recorded in Scotland

Wind speeds reached 78 mph in Scotland on Friday, the Met Office has confirmed.

The strongest gusts so far came in Inverbervie, a town on the country’s north-east coast. However, winds are predicted to reach around 100mph at the peak of Storm Arwen.

In a tweet, the Met Office reminded people that weather warnings are still in place.

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Driver killed by falling tree

A driver was killed when a falling tree hit his car as strong winds swept into the UK.

The accident, in Antrim, Northern Ireland, happened after the Met Office issued a rare red weather warning for coastal areas in the northeast of the UK. The Dublin Road was closed in both directions after the accident.

Read more here.

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‘Too early to say what services tomorrow morning will look like,’ says ScotRail

Scotland’s train operator, ScotRail, has warned of disruption on the rails and said it was still “too early to say what services tomorrow morning will look like”.

ScotRail has already warned of train cancellations because of the storm, and said on many routes it is limiting train speeds.

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Flights disrupted by stormy weather

Flight tracking app FlightRadar24 shows flights operating from Scotland are being affected by the stormy weather.