Storm Francis: Flooding, rescues and travel disruption amid 73mph winds

25 August 2020, 15:35

An amber weather warning has been issued across most of Wales and central England
An amber weather warning has been issued across most of Wales and central England. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Storm Francis has hit the UK with heavy rain and winds of up to 73mph, causing flooding and travel disruption nationwide.

A number of rescue operations have also been carried out involving the swollen River Taff in Wales, where one person entered the water near Principality Stadium on Tuesday morning, and a second capsized in their canoe near Taff's Well.

South Wales Police said it had also rescued a woman in difficulty from the River Ely in Leckwith.

In St Clears, Carmarthenshire, holidaymakers were rescued from a campsite due to rising levels of a nearby river.

Among those rescued were nine people and two dogs, using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.

There are currently weather warnings in place across the UK
There are currently weather warnings in place across the UK. Picture: PA

Meanwhile, an amber warning for very strong winds across most of Wales and central England is currently in place until 10pm as the storm rips through.

Yellow weather warnings are in place elsewhere in the UK also for heavy rain and wind.

Wind gusts of 73mph were recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight earlier this morning, while gusts of 67mph were reported at the Isles of Scilly.

Further inland were gusts of 65mph, which forecasters warned could disrupt transport services or cause flying debris that pose a threat of "injuries or danger to life".

Forecasters have warned of possible travel disruption
Forecasters have warned of possible travel disruption. Picture: PA

A number of homes in Wales were reportedly flooded, particularly in Llanelli, Neath, Whitland and Tonyrefail, while roads were also under water.

The flooding in Neath led to delays of up to 60 minutes on the rail line, while similar issues between Fernhill and Aberdare prompted a suspension to services.

READ MORE: Storm Francis expected to batter Britain with 70mph winds and heavy rain

In Cornwall, a fallen tree temporarily blocked the A30, according to the Highways Agency. Another toppled tree also blocked the rail line between Gunnislake in Cornwall and Plymouth in Devon.

Northern Ireland, meanwhile, saw reports of a river bursting its banks near Newcastle along with roads blocked by floodwaters and a toppled tree.

READ MORE: Sixty-six mph winds hit Wales as Storm Ellen batters Britain and Ireland

As of midday, the Environment Agency had issued 22 flood alerts for England, which are mostly in the South West and West Midlands.

Since 2015, when the Met Office began naming storms, there had never been a named storm in August.

However, this year, there has been two - following on from Ellen last week that left two people dead.