More than 20,000 homes have spent the night without power as the UK continues to reel from Storm Ciara.
UK Power Networks reported more than 18,500 properties across the east and southeast of England were still without power as of 5am Monday while Western Power Distribution said more than 2,800 homes were in the dark.
Parts of the UK continue to brace for blizzards and up to 20cm of snow in the wake of the storm, with travel disruption set to continue.
Some areas saw a month and a half’s rainfall in just 24 hours and gusts of more than 90mph swept across the country on Sunday. Meanwhile, 178 flood warnings in place across the country.
Follow the latest updates
Luke Pollard, the shadow environment secretary, has said a “comprehensive plan” for flooding isnow needed, as he called for a halt to constructing houses on flood plains.
He said that much more needed to be done to prevent flooding, alleviate carbon emissions through habitat restoration and returning flood plains to a natural state, adding: “Building homes on flood plains must stop.”
He said: “The government needs to ask itself since Parliament declared a climate emergency what is it doing differently on flooding, on protecting our communities.
“Austerity’s had a devastating impact on our environment, there have been unprecedented cuts to our local authorities across the country, including those councils that have been most affected by the increased flooding and increased risk of flooding.
“The Environment Agency’s seen its staffing levels fall by 20 per cent since the government came to power.”
Requiring matched funding for some flood schemes he said “means poorer communities lose out compared to richer areas”.
High river levels expected, environment secretary warns
“So we urge people in at-risk areas to remain vigilant, not to take unnecessary risks and to sign-up to receive Environment Agency flood alerts.
“Some coastal flooding is probable tomorrow but is not expected to be in the more serious category.”
Ms Villiers added “at least 25,000 properties and businesses” in flood-hit areas were “successfully protected” by flood defences over the weekend, telling MPs: “We know more needs to be done and we are determined to deliver.”
Theresa Villiers said between 40 and 80cm of rain had fallen within 24 hours across much of northern England, noting the highest levels were recorded in Cumbria with 179.8cm.
Making a statement to MPs, she told the Commons: “Particularly severe impacts have been felt in Yorkshire along the River Calder, in Lancashire along the River Ribble, in Great Manchester along the Irwell and in Appleby on the Eden.”
Ms Villiers added: “The current estimate is that over 500 properties have been flooded but this number is expected to increase as further information is collected.
“The latest number of properties confirmed to have been flooded are 40 in Cumbria, 100 in Lancashire, 150 in Greater Manchester and 260 in Yorkshire.”
Horses rescued from severely flooded field
Two horses had a lucky escape in Barnsley after they were pulled from a severely flooded field by firefighters.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue was called to assess the situation and found the animals trapped with water up to their stomachs.
Water levels continued to rise further so officers donned specialist equipment in order to guide them to safety.
The fire service praised the officers involved, tweeting: “Excellent work from #Adwick and #Edlington firefighters yesterday – helping two horses out of a very sticky situation in #Barnsley!
“A nice tale in and amongst the awful destruction that #StormCiara has caused over the weekend.”
An elderly man has reportedly died after falling and banging his head in icy conditions in West Dumbartonshire, Scotland.
The man, believed to be 77 years, fell in Kilbowie Road, Clydebank, at about 11am on Sunday.
Emergency services rushed to his aid but sadly the man could not be saved.
The first reported fatality of the storm was a 58-year-old man who died after his Mercedes was crushed my a falling tree on the A33 near the village of Micheldever, in Hampshire.
The first reported fatality during the storm was on Sunday afternoon on the A33 in Hampshire, when a driver was killed when a tree crushed his car.
These images show sheep searching for food in a snow-covered field near Killiecrankie, in Scotland.
Images by Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Planes forced to abort landings amid high winds
Footage shared on social media shows aircraft grappling with Storm Ciara’s heavy rain and gales, which reached 90mph on Sunday and caused widespread disruption.
Big Jet TV shared a clip of a British Airways Boeing 777 coming into land at Heathrow in a haze of rain, before taking off again to perform a “go-around” – in what is known as a “touch and go,” a technique normally used for pilot training where the wheels temporarily make contact with the runway.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has activated the government’s emergency Bellwin scheme for areas in the north of England affected by Storm Ciara.
The scheme – activated for qualifying areas in West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire – enables local authorities dealing with the storm to apply to have all of the eligible costs they incur, above a threshold, to be reimbursed by the government.
Mr Jenrick said: “Storm Ciara has had damaging effects on communities in the north of England, and I want to praise the efforts of the emergency services and key agencies who have responded to the disruption.
“We’re working closely with local areas to support them in their recovery. I’ve activated the emergency Bellwin scheme to provide financial support to qualifying affected areas.”
A kite surfer was catapulted 20 metres into the air by 94mph Storm Ciara winds.
Images by Red Bull Media House
Passengers were stuck on a train for six hours after Storm Ciara snapped overhead cables.
The train, which was travelling from Preston to Birmingham, encountered problems outside of Winsford station in Cheshire on Sunday afternoon, the Winsford and Middlewich Guardian reports.
Another train, travelling in the opposite direction, was used to ferry people back and forth as they were rescued during a “train to train” evacuation.
The old M48 Severn Bridge is closed in both directions after a lorry overturned in high winds.
Highways England said the bridge is expected to remain closed for some time until the winds die down enough to allow for the vehicle to be recovered.
The driver reportedly has minor head injuries, according to BBC Radio Bristol.
Lifeboat almost capsizes during rescue operation
A lifeboat crew braved the choppy waters in Hastings after a surfer was washed out to sea during Storm Ciara on Sunday.
Footage on social media showed an RNLI boat close to capsizing as it searched for the surfer, who later washed up near Rock-A-Nore.
David Silsby, who witnessed the events, began to film the rescue operation just before the boat was hit by a large wave which threatened to overturn it.
He said: “I was genuinely shocked and worried that they might completely capsize. I am incredibly grateful for these brave people who put their lives on the line.”
People and livestock have had to be been rescued from flooding in Northern Ireland caused by the aftermath of Storm Ciara.
Firefighters helped two people trapped in a car in floodwater to safety in the Lisnawery Road area of Augher, Co Tyrone, early on Sunday morning.
They pushed the car out of the water at about 8am and the pair escaped without injury.
A couple of hours later, firefighters rescued 12 sheep from floodwater using lines and a reach pole at an incident in the Cavan Road of Dromore, Co Tyrone.
Meanwhile on Saturday night, a pump was used to divert water away from 15 houses at risk in Laragh’s Croft in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
Rescue workers on the A2 motorway in Marly, northern France, after after a truck was tipped over by strong winds brought by storm Ciara.
(Pictures by Francois Lo Presti/AFP)
A lifeguard station has been smashed up by Storm Ciara.
The hut, at Bude Sea Pool, in Bude, Cornwall, can be seen lying on its side in pictures shared by Avril Sainsbury on Twitter.
Wintry conditions on the roads hit rush hour drivers this morning, while train and ferry services have also been affected.
Authorities have warned there may be “significant disruption” to transport on Monday while “frequent lightning strikes” may interrupt power supplies.
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings of snow and wind across most of Scotland on Monday and Tuesday, with gusts of up to 60mph possible.
Forecasters said strong winds could lead to blizzard conditions while there may be up to 20cm of snow by Tuesday evening over the highest routes.
The M11 is closed in both directions amid fears the roof of an aircraft hangar at Duxford Imperial War Museum could be blown into the road.
The museum, which remains closed today, wrote in an update on Twitter: “Due to extreme weather caused by Storm Ciara in Cambridgeshire in the last 24 hours, we are assessing the damage caused to the air hangars at IWM Duxford and working with engineers to ensure the buildings remain structurally sound when it is safe to do so.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and working with the emergency services and local authorities to take the necessary precautions.
“IWM Duxford will remain closed today (Monday 10th February) and will re-open once deemed safe to do.”
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