UK weather: ‘danger to life’ warning for back-to-back storms Dudley and Eunice

People in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England have been warned to brace themselves for travel disruption, power cuts and fallen trees as back-to-back storms were forecast to bring gusts of up to 90mph in exposed areas.

John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister, said the coming days would be “very challenging” and urged everyone to plan their journeys in advance, exercise caution on the roads, and follow the latest travel advice.

ScotRail said as a safety precaution the vast majority of services would end at 4pm on Wednesday, the estimated start date of Storm Dudley.

Avanti West Coast urged passengers travelling north of Preston to do so before 4pm and said ticket restrictions would be removed. Wednesday tickets could be used on Thursday, it said.

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for Dudley from 4pm to midnight. That included “injuries and danger to life” from large waves and beach material being thrown on to coastal roads and seafronts.

The strong westerly winds were expected to hit south-west Scotland and northern parts of Northern Ireland before extending across southern Scotland and northern England.

Forecasters were uncertain about the timing and location of the strongest gusts but inland speeds of 60-70mph were likely and “perhaps briefly up to 80mph in a few places”. Exposed coasts and hills could be battered by gusts up to 90mph.

Scotland and northern England may get the worst of the stormy weather but a yellow warning for very strong winds from Storm Dudley was also issued for the Midlands, Wales and parts of East Anglia.

After Dudley would come Storm Eunice, expected from Thursday afternoon to Friday evening. A yellow wind warning for Eunice was in place across all of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland.

Power firms said they were prepared after storms Arwen, Malik and Corrie caused widespread power cuts.

Northern Powergrid said there was a relatively high likelihood of disruption to power supplies. Paul Glendinning, the director of policy and markets, said the company had ensured resources were in place to respond to the storms.

“Our network control engineers have capability to restore power supplies remotely, switching electricity through alternative routes on our network wherever possible to get customers back on supply,” he said.

“In parallel our frontline workforce will be deployed to carry out local switching and repairs to restore power as safely and quickly as the conditions allow.”

Northumberland fire and rescue service urged people to be prepared. That included having batteries for torches and radios and some food that did not need cooking, charging phones and checking in on elderly and disabled neighbours.

The chief fire officer, Paul Hedley, advised residents not to go out in the storms unless it was absolutely necessary.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution asked people to stay well back from stormy seas and cliff edges.

The east coast train operator LNER said damage to overhead lines had led to the cancellation of a number of trains between Leeds and London on Wednesday. It also said Storm Dudley was likely to bring disruption to services to Scotland.

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