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Storm Ciarán as it happened: 'Don't go outside' warning as gales of 100mph hit
2 November 2023, 07:47 | Updated: 2 November 2023, 22:16
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Major incidents and warnings were declared today as Storm Ciarán roared in to batter the UK.
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Winds of up to 100mph were recorded and people across the south coast were told to work from home and avoid ‘outdoor activities’ in the hurricane-force winds.
Major incidents were declared in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Jersey.
Hundreds of schools closed for the day, rail services were heavily impacted, and ‘danger to life’ weather alerts were into effect into the evening.
Storm Ciarán KEY UPDATES
- Storm Ciarán hits British Isles and Channel Islands
- Major incident declared for Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Jersey
- Hundreds of schools shut
- Commuters urged to work from home and ‘don’t go outside’ warning issued
- 102mph winds rip roofs of homes in Jersey
- 8,500 homes with no power in Cornwall
- Three-inch hailstones found in Jersey
- Supermarket shelves stripped in Jersey and Guernsey
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Winds of up to 100mph were recorded and travel chaos ensued as the day went on.
Disruption is expected to continue across the weekend.
Check back here for more updates on the storm tomorrow.
'Do not travel until Sunday' warnings issued
Brits have been issued with a 'do not travel until Sunday' warning as the disruption arising from Storm Ciaran is expected to last all weekend.
Much of the UK has been battered by strong winds and heavy rain today, with gusts reaching up to 104mph in some parts of the country.
Around 127,000 homes lost power across the country, with the Channel Islands being the worst hit areas.
Roofs were torn off the top of houses and trampolines were blown onto railway lines, with mass cancellations occurring across the UK.
King's Cross in central London is also in chaos this evening, with a signal failure causing all trains north to be either delayed or cancelled earlier this evening.
As for flights, more than 100 were cancelled in the UK today, travel journalist Simon Calder told LBC.
Read more here.
At least seven dead as storm batters Europe
Among those killed was a 70-year-old man who fell from his balcony in the port city of Le Havre, Normandy.
Meanwhile, in the north of France, a truck driver was killed when his vehicle was hit by a tree.
Two more died in Belgium after being hit by falling branches.
100 flights cancelled due to Storm Ciarán
More than 100 flights have been cancelled in the UK today due to Storm Ciarán, travel journalist Simon Calder has told LBC.
"Everything in and out of Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney airports was cancelled, that's because they decided to close them all because, obviously, the winds were extremely strong," Mr Calder told LBC's Andrew Marr.
"That had a knock-on effect on places like Southampton, which is the main hub for the Channel Islands.
"But actually you've had more cancellations in and out of London Heathrow. On British Airways, 50 flights cancelled, short-haul domestic and European."
Environment Agency workers suspend strike
A four-day strike, which was due to begin on Friday, has been suspended as the UK faces Storm Ciaran.
Talks will instead be held to try resolving a pay dispute, the Unison union said.
"None of them wanted to take action this week. They are dedicated to their jobs," Unison said.
"Staff have been working round the clock to keep communities safe the best they can, but there's only so much they can do when there are so few of them. Poverty wages have caused the staffing crisis at the agency and the government has sat by and let this happen."
Schools remain closed
Some schools across the UK are expected to stay closed until Monday as the dangerous weather continues.
Severe rail disruption continues - particularly across southern England
South Western Railway said train services across the whole network are expected to be cancelled, delayed or revised.
Other services affected are:
- Gatwick Express
- Great Western Railway
- Greater Anglia
- Island Line
- Transport for Wales
Battle of Britain Memorial damaged from strong winds
A replica Spitfire paying tribute to aircraft that flew in the Battle of Britain has been damaged.
Parts of M20 temporarily closed
The M20 carriageway between Junctions 8 and 9 is closed due to the extreme conditions.
Chief Supt Simon Alland, from Kent Police's tactical operations command, said: "The closure of the M20 is an emergency measure that is only used following consultation with our partners in the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) and after a thorough assessment of issues including public safety and traffic volumes.
"The KRF will continue to monitor the situation over the next 24 hours."
Nearly 280 flood warnings and alerts in force across England
The Environment Agency has put 82 flood warnings in place in England, which means floods are expected.
There are also 197 flood alerts in force, meaning floods are possible.
These have predominantly been put in place around the south coast, however some reach as far north as Sunderland.