Thousands without power but 'worst is yet to come' as blizzards and 100mph winds sweep in

16 February 2022, 12:58 | Updated: 17 February 2022, 09:24

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Danger to life weather warnings have been issued for the whole of England as Dudley became the first of two storms to batter the UK.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The storm caused major travel disruption, damage and left thousands of homes without power.

After an amber warning for wind was issued for parts of Scotland and northern England, Northern Powergrid said on Wednesday evening that a total of 14,000 households were hit by power cuts but 10,000 have been reconnected.

The power company said they would work through the night to help the others, but warned the "peak is still ahead of us" as Storm Eunice approaches on Friday.

READ MORE: Freak 'ball-shaped' clouds appear over Glasgow as UK braces for Storm Dudley

The website suggests some homes could remain without power until Friday morning.

Train services will remain suspended on Thursday morning in the wake of Dudley until safety checks have been carried out on the lines, ScotRail said.

The rail operator said it will not know the extent of any damage caused by the storm's high winds and rain until the morning, with the expectation some routes will continue to be unusable due to fallen trees.

Network Rail Scotland shared photographs of damage from the storm, including trees that had fallen onto lines and overhead power cables.

Rail passengers have been advised to rethink journeys if possible and allow extra time for travel and drivers are being advised to delay journeys wherever possible.

East Midlands Railway and London North Eastern Railway warned customers to expect disruption to services in the coming days.

Avanti West Coast said due to damage to the overhead electric wires at Carlisle all lines towards Glasgow and Edinburgh are blocked.

ScotRail wound down almost all services from 4pm on Wednesday amid fears of falling trees and blowing debris as wind speeds are expected to reach more than 80mph.

A plane carrying the Manchester City team home from Lisbon was forced to land in Liverpool because of strong winds.

As of 5pm, Capel Curig in Wales had experienced gusts of up to 81mph, with Emley Moore in Yorkshire seeing 74mph winds, while Drumalbin in Scotland was hit by 71mph gales.

Ferries in Scotland have also been severely disrupted, with 20 of the 29 routes experiencing cancellations.

On Friday, an amber "danger to life" warning for wind has been issued for almost the whole of England.

Here is an update on #StormDudley and #StormEunice, expected to hit the UK in quick succession during the next 48 hours 👇

Posted by Met Office on Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Forecasters say Eunice will bring "extremely strong" winds and "there is a good chance flying debris could result in a danger to life" while buildings could be damaged and power cuts are possible.

"Large waves are likely" on sea fronts where gusts could reach 100mph, the warning, which is in place between 3am and 9pm, adds.

Further inland wind speeds could reach 80mph, with falling trees and travel disruption also likely.

A yellow warning for wind and snow has been also issued for northern England, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland on the same day, between 3am and 6pm.

Where snow does fall, the high winds are likely to create blizzard conditions, the Met Office has said. Up to 20cm could accumulate over higher ground with 5cm possible in lower areas.

The Energy Networks Association offered safety advice ahead of the storms.

Spokesman Ross Easton said: "It's really important to stay safe when bad weather hits. If you come across fallen power lines or damage to the electricity network, stay well clear and call 105 for free to report it. If there is an immediate risk to life or someone is in danger, dial 999."