This weekend's storm has caused considerable damage to property, infrastructure and power supplies as winds of over 100 mph were recorded in Scotland. On Friday, Stornoway in the western isles recorded winds of 113mph, the highest speed since records began in 1970 and in the Cairn Gorns, speeds reached over 140 mph. The strong winds continued into Saturday as the eye of the storm moved North East with Shetland experiencing gusts of over 100mph during Saturday. The Met Office issued amber "be prepared" warnings for much of Scotland on Friday and for Shetland on Saturday morning. Although the winds lessened a little, yellow "be aware" warnings stayed in place for central and southern Scotland, as well as northern England and Northern Ireland.
The strength of the winds was felt down to the south coast of England and had an impact upon travel. Initially, transatlantic flights benefitted from the westerly winds, reducing flight times by 60-90 minutes. By Friday, however, the storm had caused disruption to air, ferry and rail services. All Scotrail services were suspended and by 10am on Friday morning Glasgow station, usually a busy hub for commuters, was deserted with only services heading south still in operation. A train was brought to a standstill by fallen trees near Dingwall.
The road service fared little better. The Forth Road Bridge was blocked early on Friday morning by a lorry that had been blown over by winds gusting to 91mph. In Yorkshire, high sided vehicles suffered a similar fate causing blocked carriageways on main arteries, and bus services in Shetland were suspended on Saturday. Fallen trees and masonry caused driving conditions to be hazardous. In Wales, 3 schoolchildren received minor injuries as a tree fell on a bus waiting in school grounds.
Winds have also had an impact on power supplies as power lines fell. Over 73,000 people had power restored as the Scottish and Southern Energy group mobilised around 1,200 engineers to help deal with the problem. By midday on Saturday nearly 40,000 people were still without power. School children in Orkney and the Western Isles were able to benefit from the disruption as all the schools were closed on Friday owing to the forecast winds.
Everton's Goodison Park football ground received minor damage yet the Premiership game with Manchester City still kicked off at its scheduled 3pm start time.
There have however been two casualties from the conditions. In Brighton, a group of young men went to the water's edge for a dare at about 1am on Friday night/Saturday morning. Tragically, a wave knocked one of them over and swept him out to sea. A friend tried to jump in and save him but he was also carried away in the current. Search and rescue teams looked for the pair until about 4.30am before standing down. A body, believed to be one of the young men, has been found. The two missing persons have been named as Dan Nicholls, 23, and Freddie Reynolds, 24.
Despite winds easing slightly into Sunday, it seems that Britain's weather will continue to cause problems. Forecasters are predicting a spell of cold weather with snow coming to even low-lying areas, before another area of low pressure will affect the country by midweek. It seems that we are not out of the woods yet and there will be more cold, very windy weather to come as Britain faces more unsettled wintry weather. #Electric energy