UK weather: Severe storms leave thousands without power for third day running

The Met Office has issued weather alerts for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North and Midlands of England as snow and ice storms set to continue

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people have been without electricity for three days following powerful winter storms this weekend that have wreaked havoc on Britain's transport and power networks.

Worst hit are homes in the north of Scotland, where gale force winds reaching 113mph have kept the lights off since Friday.

Engineers are braving "treacherous and worsening conditions" to address connectivity problems, and Red Cross charity workers are providing food, accommodation and generators to vulnerable people as best they can.


Britain's transport systems have likewise been impacted by the ice, snow and winds, with a number of road accidents thought to have been influenced by weather conditions.

A driver died in a one-car crash in Aberdeenshire, with police investigating whether the weather was a factor.

Two people were hospitalised after a car crashed with a gritter in South Ayrshire.

Much further south, at Brighton beach, the body of Freddie Reynolds, who was swept out to sea as he tried to rescue his friend Dan Nicholls, has been recovered.

The search for Nicholls will resume today.

Waves crash against the sea wall in the town of Portrush, as storms hit the United Kingdom

Weather warnings remain in place on Sunday with further strong winds, snow and ice expected.

The Met Office has issued yellow "be aware" weather alerts for all of Scotland, the North and Midlands of England, and Northern Ireland for snow and ice.

Anne Eadie, co-ordinating the Red Cross response, said: "For everyone affected this is an inconvenience but for many vulnerable people it is a crisis.

"People can be vulnerable because of age, infirmity or a degree of disability. We have been called in to make sure these people are okay and have whatever they need to see this through till power is restored.

"During these visits, we have been delivering gas heaters to households left without heating and providing flasks of hot drinks. If further help is needed, we notify the relevant authorities."

A gust of 113mph has been recorded at Stornoway on Lewis, the strongest since records at that site began in 1970, while winds of 76mph were recorded at High Bradfield, in South Yorkshire, and in Aberdaron, Gwynedd.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: "In the north of the UK, the wintry showers should push more eastwards and we should see most of them easing on Sunday.

"The South East should hold on to the largely fine conditions but we will see showers push into Wales and south west England, some of this falling as sleet and snow over the moors but also to lower levels."

The ferocious gales were stirred up by an extra-powerful jet stream triggered by plunging temperatures in the United States hitting warmer air in the south.

Additional reporting by PA