Storm Otto batters Britain: Traffic chaos, thousands left without power and roofs cave as 80mph winds roar in

17 February 2023, 14:09

Parts of Britain have been hit with up to 80mph winds
Parts of Britain have been hit with up to 80mph winds. Picture: LBC/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Britain's first named storm of the year has brought chaos and disruption to lives of thousands as it makes it way across northern England and Scotland - with some areas recording gusts of up to 80mph.

Storm Otto has caused trains and flights to be cancelled on Friday morning, while three lorries have overturned on the M1, causing traffic chaos.

A Met Office weather warning for high winds was in place until 2pm in Yorkshire and north-east England, and remains in place until 3pm for Scotland.

The forecaster continues to warn of power cuts, damage to buildings, potential injuries and even danger to life as trees and roofs struggle to withstand the storm's pressure.

Read More: UK faces Beast From the East return with freezing temperatures as Met Office spots 'sudden stratospheric warning'

One person told LBC how a working men club in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has seen its roof collapse, while a man in his 50s was rushed to hospital after a tree toppled over in Sheffield this morning.

The Big Club in Newton Aycliffe suffers a collapsed roof
The Big Club in Newton Aycliffe suffers a collapsed roof. Picture: LBC
Storm Otto has battered northern England and Scotland
Storm Otto has battered northern England and Scotland. Picture: Alamy

Nearly 1500 homes in Ripon, North Yorkshire, have been left without power due to the storm as the Met Office said it had recorded winds of up to 80mph in parts of Scotland.

North Yorkshire Police said they had received "numerous calls" involving high-sided vehicles being blown over on the A1(M) and other routes, and urged motorists to "slow down".

Read More: 'Beast from the East’ return fears as UK set to be hit by sub-zero temperatures

Read More: Britain to be battered by 75mph winds this weekend as Storm Otto roars in

Meanwhile, Leeds Bradford Airport has remained open, despite continued disruption to flight schedules.

A spokesperson said: "We currently remain open but are experiencing some delays and disruptions to flights. We'd recommend passengers check with their airlines and on our website for live updates."

Tree topples onto Porsche in North Yorkshire
Tree topples onto Porsche in North Yorkshire. Picture: Alamy
This Porsche was damaged by a toppled tree in Harrogate
This Porsche was damaged by a toppled tree in Harrogate. Picture: Alamy

Another victim of misfortune amid Storm Otto is Charlie Lowe, who has seen his Porsche smashed after a tree toppled onto its roof.

Mr Lowe, 29, from North Yorkshire, told PA: "I felt shocked and I think it's nerve-wracking. I felt a bit nervous driving around Harrogate as a result."

Storm otto is the first to be named this winter and during the UK's storm-naming season, which began in September.

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