UK weather: Thousands of homes left without power after Storm Imogen battered Britain

Storm Imogen is now moving up towards Norway and Sweden

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people have been left without power after Storm Imogen lashed the UK with winds reaching speeds of almost 100mph on Monday night.

The worst-hit areas were along the coast in Wales, the South West and southern England, where 15,000 homes were left without access to electricity. The power cuts have led to the closure of several schools in Cornwall.

Met Office meteorologist Emma Sillitoe told The Independent that Storm Imogen had caused some of the strongest winds Britain had experienced so far this year.

“Quite a lot of homes lost power overnight, mainly in the south-west and the west of Wales,” said Ms Sillitoe.

Winds of up to 121mph were recorded south west of County Cork, while winds of 96mph were felt at Needles off the Isle of Wight. The force of the winds managed to rip the roof off of a Lloyds bank in north Somerset.

Coastal communities had to deal with choppy waters - a wave of 19.1m was recorded in St Ives on Monday.

Storm Imogen also caused problems for road, rail and ferry routes, including the cancellation of Brittany Ferries crossing between south-coast ports and northern France and Spain.

Some people caught up in the gale force winds have been injured. Two young children from Worcestershire had to be taken to hospital on Monday morning after a stone wall fell on them.

On Monday, the search for RSPCA inspector Mike Reid, who was reported missing after he went to rescue sea birds in Cornwall on Sunday, continued. 

Storm Imogen - Waves lash sea front as UK endures high winds

Storm Imogen has now moved to Norway and Sweden Ms Sillitoe said, adding that Tuesday would be much less windy than previous days.

“The winds will only be strong along the coast of Wales. Into this afternoon and evening, Wales will see high-force gusts across the coast, [as will] northern Cornwall and northern Devon.”

She said there would be patchy rain across much of the country, with showers expected in the southern areas, including the Isle of Wight and London, during the morning.

A yellow weather warning of rain has been put in place by the Met Office for parts of Scotland including Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway. “There will be patchy rain further north across Scotland, then moving into the north-east through the day," said Ms Sillitoe.

Across England and Wales, the Environment Agency has issued 54 flood warnings in addition to 184 alerts for possible flooding.

Temperatures will be around 6°C or 7°C in Scotland, northern England and Wales, and between 7°C and 8°C in the south of the country.

Additional reporting by PA