Two dead after 'Storm of the Century' Ciara rips through Britain

10 February 2020, 05:59 | Updated: 10 February 2020, 17:27

Storm Ciara has claimed two lives after a man died when a falling tree crashed into his car and another died after falling and banging his head.

One man, 58, was killed while driving to his home in Micheldever, Hants at around 4pm yesterday.

Another man, aged 77, died after falling shortly before 11am in Clydebank, West Dumbartonshire, according to The Mirror.

Travel disruption is set to continue across the UK today in the wake of the storm. Parts of the country are braced for blizzards and heavy snow.

Britain was battered by 100mph winds yesterday as the storm made landfall with some areas experiencing widespread flooding as they experienced a month and a half's rainfall in just 24 hours.

Heavy flooding hit parts of the UK as the storm developed
Heavy flooding hit parts of the UK as the storm developed. Picture: PA

Thousands were left without power as authorities scrambled to rescue people from flood-hit areas, and drivers faced treacherous conditions with floodwater, fallen trees and other debris closing roads.

Helen Roberts, a senior meteorologist at the Met Office, said that Storm Ciara threatened to be the worst this century, rivalled only by the 19th December 2013 storm that caused widespread power cuts.

“It’s definitely the biggest storm in seven years and in terms of area affected it’s probably the biggest this century,” she said.

Close Park in Radcliffe
Close Park in Radcliffe. Picture: LBC News

Gatwick Airport warned some flights on Monday will be subject to delays and cancellations and advised passengers to check with their airline for the latest information on their flight.

Forecasters warned of further mayhem over the next 48 hours in the wake of the storm.

Winds of almost 100mph hit the UK on Sunday
Winds of almost 100mph hit the UK on Sunday. Picture: PA

A Met Office amber weather warning for wind, which had been in place across most of England, ended at 9pm Sunday as Storm Ciara moved away to the north-east of Scotland.

But a yellow warning for wind remained in force for the whole UK until midnight, with strong winds, heavy showers, snow and ice expected on Monday.

a guest house in Hawick in Scottish Borders has partially collapsed
a guest house in Hawick in Scottish Borders has partially collapsed. Picture: PA

A yellow warning for heavy snow and strong winds is in place for Northern Ireland and most of Scotland and a yellow warning of snow and ice is in force for North West England throughout Monday and Tuesday.

Coastal areas were among some of the worst hit
Coastal areas were among some of the worst hit. Picture: PA

A yellow warning for wind in the south is in place between 10am and 5pm Monday.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: "While Storm Ciara is clearing away, that doesn't mean we're entering a quieter period of weather.

"It's going to stay very unsettled.

"We have got colder air coming through the UK and will be feeling a real drop in temperatures, with an increased risk of snow in northern parts of the UK and likely in Scotland.

"There could be up to 20cm on Monday and Tuesday and with strong winds, blizzards aren't out of the question."

Train passengers are being advised to check with operators before travelling as there are likely to be some cancellations to early trains as Network Rail engineers work through the night to assess the damage.

Motorists are also warned to take care with continued disruption to the road network and tricky driving conditions likely to continue into rush hour.

And airports around the country on Sunday night told travellers to check their flight with their airline due to the continuing bad weather conditions.

British Airways said in a statement there will be a "minor knock-on effect" to Monday's schedule.

"We're getting in touch with those affected, and have brought in extra customer teams to help them with a range of options including a full refund or an alternative flight between now and Thursday," the airline said.

"Any customer flying short-haul to or from Heathrow or Gatwick, can also choose to make changes to their travel plans if they would prefer to fly another time."

In some areas firefighters rushed to rescue people trapped in vehicles
In some areas firefighters rushed to rescue people trapped in vehicles. Picture: PA

More than 200 flood warnings were issued across England on Sunday, with the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, in Cumbria, severely hit.

The River Irwell burst its banks at Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, while areas including Blackpool, Whalley, Longton and Rossendale, were affected by flooding in Lancashire.

Inland, Manchester Airport recorded gusts of 86 miles per hour, while 178mm of rain fell in Honister Pass, in Cumbria, in the 24 hours to 4pm on Sunday - around one-and-a-half times the average February rainfall of 112mm.

Some 539,000 people experienced a power cut on Sunday with 118,000 left without power by 4pm across the whole of the UK, according to Energy Networks.