Storm Ciaran batters Britain: Major incident declared and schools shut while 7,000 homes lose power as roofs blown off

2 November 2023, 08:00 | Updated: 2 November 2023, 10:00

Storm Ciaran has rolled in
Storm Ciaran has rolled in. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A major incident has been declared in southern England amid "danger to life" warnings as Storm Ciaran rolls in.

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About 7,000 homes were cut off from power in Cornwall, a local councillor said, as gusts of more than 100mph hit the south-west as Storm Ciaran made landfall.

The major incident was declared for Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Jersey as schools shut and commuters faced severe disruption, with commuters in the south being urged not to travel on Thursday.

Follow the latest Storm Ciarán Live updates: 'Don't go outside' warning as gales of 100mph hit

A severe amber weather warning for wind was put in place from 3am on the southwest coastline, covering Plymouth and Exeter, running until 11am.

Meanwhile, a separate weather warning for wind, covering the southern and southeastern coastline, was given for Portsmouth, Brighton and Canterbury.

Buildings in Jersey have been damaged
Buildings in Jersey have been damaged. Picture: Submitted
Debris strewn across Jersey's streets as Storm Ciaran rolled in
Debris strewn across Jersey's streets as Storm Ciaran rolled in. Picture: Submitted

Police in Jersey said they had taken more than 100 calls to 999 as winds reached more than 100mph and they urged people to stay indoors.

Dozens of people were taken to hotels as their homes were damaged as their roofs were blown off and windows were smashed and three-inch hailstorms pounded the island.

The Met Office has warned that "very strong winds" are expected to cause disruption to travel in the UK, leading to train and flight cancellations, as well as structural damage to buildings.

Southern Rail urged commuters to work from home while Southeastern said passengers should not travel in and out of London before 9am while they check for fallen trees and debris on the line.

Roofs in Jersey have been damaged by the storm
Roofs in Jersey have been damaged by the storm. Picture: Submitted
Huge waves batter Folkestone as Storm Ciaran hit
Huge waves batter Folkestone as Storm Ciaran hit. Picture: Alamy

Other train operators warned of delays and cancellations.

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators said: "Our colleagues will be working extremely hard over the coming days to keep passengers on the move but also to keep them safe during this bad weather.

"We will be working closely with Network Rail to understand the impact on the rail network, and we are encouraging passengers to check their journey before travelling."

Yellow weather warnings for rain will also be in place in most of the country throughout Thursday, covering the south of England, London, parts of the Midlands, the northeast of England, Scotland and Wales.

Hundreds of schools have closed due to the storm, primarily in Cornwall, Devon and Southampton.

Structures in Jersey have been badly damaged
Structures in Jersey have been badly damaged. Picture: Submitted
Ciaran has hit Bournemouth
Ciaran has hit Bournemouth. Picture: Alamy
Storm Ciaran will cause heavy disruption to travel on Thursday
Storm Ciaran will cause heavy disruption to travel on Thursday. Picture: Getty

It comes less than two weeks after the UK was battered by Storm Babet, which also brought strong winds and heavy rain to the UK.

At least seven people are thought to have died in the storm, which caused the evacuation of an entire town in Scotland.

As for Storm Ciaran, gusts of wind of up to 100mph could be felt in some areas, while other areas are at risk of flooding due to heavy rain.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Almond, said winds of up to 90mph could hit some parts of the UK.

“Winds associated with Storm Ciarán are likely to gust to 80mph along the south coast of England, with a small risk of somewhere exposed seeing 90mph, and winds could even gust up to 50 or 60 mph further inland," he said.

"This deep low-pressure system will also bring heavy rain to much of the UK, but the heaviest rain is expected in southern and western areas with 20 to 25mm quite widely across the region but up to 40 to 60mm potentially over higher ground," Mr Almond continued.

"Heavy and persistent rain will fall onto already saturated ground bringing a risk of further impacts such as flooding in areas that are already struggling to clean up from the heavy rainfall we have seen over the last week or so."

Read More: Scramble for supplies with supermarket shelves left bare as people stock up ahead of arrival of Storm Ciarán

Read More: Storm Ciarán: How will flights and trains be affected as it makes landfall

Flights are also being cancelled in the UK due to the incoming storm.

British Airways has grounded 30 domestic and European flights, which includes two trips to Amsterdam, two to Belfast and two to Paris.

Meanwhile, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines told passengers: “Due to the expected weather conditions at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the runway capacity has been reduced on Thursday 2 November.

"As a result, some of our flights have been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

Train cancellations are also expected across the UK.

Network Rail said: “Heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in some areas could affect journeys across Wales, the south of England and the Midlands on Thursday, and across the northeast of England and central and eastern Scotland on Thursday and Friday.

“Owing to the adverse weather conditions, passengers should allow extra time for their journeys and check before travelling as services may be disrupted.”

Full list of schools closed due to Storm Ciaran:

It comes just weeks after Britain was battered by Storm Babet
It comes just weeks after Britain was battered by Storm Babet. Picture: Alamy

Cornwall

Altarnun Primary School

Camborne School and International Science Academy

Egloskerry SchoolLaunceston Primary School

Marazion School (opening late 10am)

Mousehole School (opening late 9am)

Newlyn School (opening late 9.30am)

Penwith Alternative Provision Academy

St Levan Primary School (opening late 10am)

Stratton Primary School (opening late 10.30-11am)

The Roseland Academy (opening late 10am)

Devon

Plymtree Church Of England Primary School

Woodbury Church Of England Primary School

Southbrook SchoolSt Helen's Church of England School

Pilton Community College

Uplowman Church Of England Primary School

Halberton Primary School

Hatherleigh Community Primary School

Lady Seaward's Church of England Primary School

The Topsham School

Clyst Vale Community College

Doddiscombsleigh Primary School

Ashburton Primary School

Brixington Primary Academy

Kenton Primary School

Kenn Church Of England Primary School

Cullompton Community College

Tiverton High School

South Dartmoor Community College

South Molton Community College

Tavistock Primary & Nursery School

Stokenham Area Primary School

Aveton Gifford CofE Primary School

Castle Primary School

Exbourne Church Of England Primary School

Chagford Church Of England Primary School

South Tawton Primary School

Chudleigh Knighton Church Of England Primary School

Uffculme Primary SchoolBere Alston Primary Academy

Great Torrington School

North Tawton Community Primary School and Nursery

Northlew And Ashbury Parochial Church Of England Primary School

Bridgerule Church Of England Primary School

Milton Abbot School

Hazeldown School

Boasley Cross Community Primary School

Tidcombe Primary School

St James Church of England Primary and Nursery School

Bowhill Primary School

Tipton St John Church Of England Primary School

Okehampton Primary School and Foundation UnitColyton Primary Academy

St Mary's Church of England Primary School, Brixton

Littleham Church of England Primary School

Ashwater Primary School

Bideford College

Halwill Community Primary School

Kings Nympton Community Primary School

Uffculme School

Woodbury Salterton Church Of England Primary School

Farway Church Of England Primary School

Broadhembury Church of England Primary School

Ilfracombe Church Of England Junior School

Winkleigh Primary School

St Michael's Church of England Primary School

Whitchurch Community Primary School

Hawkchurch Church Of England School

The Lampard Community School

Musbury Primary School

Newton Abbot College

Highweek Community Primary and Nursery School

High Bickington Church of England Primary Academy

Branscombe Church Of England Primary School

Lydford Primary School

Highampton Community Primary School

St Catherine's CofE Primary School

Sidmouth Church Of England (VA) Primary School

Black Torrington Church Of England Primary School

Pathfield School

Holsworthy Church Of England Primary School

Bradford Primary School

Cockwood Primary School

Tavistock College

Brayford Academy

Bridestowe Primary School

Teignmouth Community School, Mill Lane

Ipplepen Primary School

Teignmouth Community School, Exeter Road

Feniton Church Of England Primary School

Shaldon Primary School

Witheridge Church Of England Primary Academy

St Andrew's Church of England Primary School

Kingsbridge Community Primary School

Holsworthy Community College

St Thomas Primary School

Alphington Primary School

Mill Water School

Decoy Primary School (partial closure)

Beaford Community Primary & Nursery School

Southampton

Compass School

Fairisle Junior School

St Denys Primary School

Bitterne Park School

Oasis Academy Mayfield

Portswood Primary School

St Patrick's Catholic Primary School

Cantell School

Maytree Nursery and Infants School

Woolston Infant School

Itchen Sixth Form College

St Mary's Primary School

St John's Primary and Nursery School

Weston Shore Infant School

Newlands Primary School

Bassett Green Primary School

Redbridge Primary School

Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Bitterne CE Primary School

Mansel Park Primary School

Bitterne Park Primary School

Sinclair Primary and Nursery School

Bitterne Manor Primary School

Sholing Junior School

Tanners Brook Primary School

Mansbridge Primary School

Shirley Infant School

Shirley Junior School

Harefield Primary School

Beechwood Junior School

Oakwood Primary School

Mount Pleasant Junior School

Regents Park Community College

Banister Primary School

Weston Secondary

Moorlands Primary School

Springwell School

Woodlands Community College

St George Catholic College

St Mark's School

Bevois Town Primary School

The Cedar School

St Anne's Catholic School

Nursling Church of England Primary School

Rownhams St John’s CE Primary School

Mason Moor Primary School

Vermont School

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