Hurricane Gonzalo: UK braced for weather chaos as storm hits Britain

Tropical hurricane will cause disruption to commuters this morning, but the worst of the weather is expected this evening

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The Independent Online

Travellers were braced across Britain today for the arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo as the Met Office issued a yellow warning for most of the country in preparation.

Powerful winds of up to 60mph have been recorded in north Wales and the north-west of England, as a fortnight’s worth of rain is expected in eight hours – causing misery on railways and roads.

Meanwhile, Heathrow staff reported 10 per cent of flights with the 20 biggest carriers may be cancelled as remnants of the hurricane swept into the UK.

The Met Office’s chief forecaster warned commuters could expect some of the worst of the storm with “significant disruptions” to road travel predicted.

Virgin Trains are running with an emergency speed restriction on the West Coast Mainline between Preston and Lancashire, with 15-minute delays expected.

Scotland will be worst affected, with the A87 Skye Bridge and the A90 Forth Road Bridge closed yesterday to high-sided vehicles amid fears they could be blown off course. Some ferry services further north are also facing disruption.

The Highways agency reported early this morning that the Cambridge southbound A1 is partially closed to recover an over-turned HGV.

The chief forecaster also said: “The strongest winds are expected on Tuesday as the low pressure clears eastwards; some uncertainty remains in peak wind speeds but there remains the potential for disruption to travel, especially as the strongest winds coincide with the morning rush hour in places.”

Early this morning an Irish weather camp recorded a gust of 52mph at Finner Camp, County Donegal.

BBC Weather's Carol Kirkwood said the wind could be strong enough to do "slight structural damage" to properties, as well as uprooting small trees and causing branches to fall.

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Hurricane Gonzalo last week caused widespread damage and a power blackout when it hit Bermuda.

The Bermuda weather service had warned residents not to go outside when the storm's calm eye moved in, but some ventured out anyway to do quick damage assessments, noting that porches were destroyed and power lines were downed.

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