Storm Jocelyn batters Brits with 97mph winds bringing travel chaos, as search for person missing in the sea suspended

24 January 2024, 08:28 | Updated: 24 January 2024, 13:47

Storm Jocelyn hit the UK on Wednesday
Storm Jocelyn hit the UK on Wednesday. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

Storm Jocelyn has brought fresh travel chaos to the UK on Wednesday with 97mph winds, as a person was reported missing in the sea off Wales, just two days after Storm Isha killed several people and left thousands without power.

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Amber warnings for wind were in place for parts of Scotland on Wednesday morning, with most of the UK under a yellow alert until the afternoon.

Winds reached 97mph in Capel Curig in the Welsh mountain range of Snowdonia, 79mph in Aberdaron, also in Wales, and 77mph at Shap, Cumbria, in north-west England.

A search for a missing person reported in the sea off south Wales resumed on Wednesday, after being suspended because of bad light on Tuesday evening.

Police said: "South Wales Police was called just before 6.05pm last night, Wednesday 23rd January, with a report of a woman having been seen by the water’s edge just off the Esplanade in Porthcawl.

"Emergency services responded including HM Coastguard, the RNLI, and the National Police Air Service (NPAS). HM Coastguard is continuing the maritime search effort with assistance from our specialist search team and other agencies."

It comes after Storm Isha, which hit on Sunday evening and Monday, claimed at least five lives as it battered parts of the country, bringing with it winds of up to 99mph.

Read more: Man dies after falling down manhole as Storm Isha causes chaos with 99mph winds

Read more: Storm Isha claims first victim after man, 84, killed as car crashes into fallen tree

Storm Jocelyn hit on Wednesday
Storm Jocelyn hit on Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

Jocelyn brought more travel disruption to parts of the country on Wednesday, after Isha caused chaos on the transport network earlier in the week.

Trains to and from Scotland are suspended until at least Wednesday afternoon. Avanti West Coast said people should not try to go north of Preston until at least midday on Wednesday, and said journeys in the north-west could take longer because of speed restrictions. LNER also asked passengers not to go north of Newcastle.

Martin Thomson, national operations manager for resilience at Transport Scotland, said: "Across the wider network, we can expect to see more delays and cancellations with ferries, flights and rail into Wednesday morning."

Network Rail Scotland said that it had dealt with flooding, downed trees and the roof of a shed roof blowing onto a wall above a track on Tuesday evening.

Storm Jocelyn has brought fresh travel chaos
Storm Jocelyn has brought fresh travel chaos. Picture: Alamy

A statement outlining the plan for morning route inspections said: "It'll be done in many ways - teams on foot, in road-rail vehicles, freight locos and empty passenger trains.

"Our helicopter will be out too, as soon as winds ease."

ScotRail said that "it will be later on in the day before any trains can run".

Jocelyn has brought travel chaos to the roads as well. The Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford Crossing, M48 Severn Bridge and A66 in County Durham and Cumbria were all closed amid high winds.

The Humber Bridge, the A19 Tees Flyover and the Woodhead Pass in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire were closed to high-sided vehicles.

Some roads have been disrupted
Some roads have been disrupted. Picture: Alamy

The M1 was also closed in both directions to high-sided vehicles at Junction 34 for Sheffield.

The A76 in Scotland was shut in both directions between Skelmorlie and Largs because water had come over the sea wall. The Forth Bridge was open to cars and single decker buses with restrictions on high-sided vehicles on several bridges.

Glasgow Airport cancelled four flights on Tuesday evening, with Dublin axing eight.

The Met Office issued an amber warning for wind for the north and west of Scotland until 8am on Wednesday, while a yellow warning was in place until 1pm across Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and north-west England.

Forecasters put another yellow warning in place until 3pm for north-east England, the Midlands and south Wales.

Storm Jocelyn hit on Wednesday
Storm Jocelyn hit on Wednesday. Picture: Getty

The storm has also brought flooding, with parts of York affected. Rivers will probably flood in parts of the north of England on Wednesday, the Environment Agency said, along with parts of the upper River Severn in Shropshire until Friday.

Some 21 floods warnings were in place in England along with 37 in Scotland.

Winds are set to gradually ease from the south as Storm Jocelyn moves away from the UK on Wednesday, a day of sunny spells and blustery showers.

Clouds and rain were set to move north east on Thursday with forecasters expecting brighter conditions on Friday and Saturday, as well as frequent showers in the north.

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