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Thousands still without power as Storm Arwen rages on


Storm Arwen continues to rage over the UK, leaving thousands of people without power.

Three people have been killed by falling trees as wind speeds of nearly 100mph were recorded in some parts of the country.

Yellow weather warnings are in place over large parts of Scotland and the north of England for wind and ice, with the Met Office predicting further wintry showers.

A headteacher in Northern Ireland died after a tree fell on his car, another man was hit by a falling tree in Cumbria, and a third died after his car was hit in Aberdeenshire.

Thousands of homes across the north of England and Scotland are still without power due to the storm.

Power cuts in north of England

Temperatures were expected to stay around freezing in some parts, with -1C forecast in Manchester and Newcastle.

The Met Office said it would be a cold and frosty day, with showers affecting eastern coastal areas.

It added that there was a risk of “icy stretches”, with snow showers becoming more extensive over parts of Scotland and the north-west of England early on Sunday.

Gusts of almost 100mph also disrupted transport, cut power and damaged buildings, while lorries were stuck in heavy snow. Snow ploughs were used in some areas.

Motorists gather by a stuck lorry on the snow-covered A515 near Biggin, in the Peak District, Derbyshire.
A stuck lorry on the snow-covered A515 near Biggin, in the Peak District, Derbyshire. Photograph: Jacob King/PA

Listing some of the impact of the first named storm of the season, the Met Office said that with the strong winds and a mixture of rain, sleet and snow there had been “power cuts, transport disruption, trees fell, there were large coastal waves and blizzards affected some hills”.

In Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges avenue of trees fell victim to the storm, with a beech tree uprooted at Bregagh Road near Armoy. The tourist attraction, made famous by the TV series Game of Thrones, was battered by gale force winds overnight.

Contestants on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! were taken off the set of the TV show at Gwrych Castle, near Abergele in north Wales because of the extreme weather.

This weekend’s episodes of the show have been cancelled.

Storm Arwen: wild weather batters UK – video report
Storm Arwen: wild weather batters UK – video report

Producers said: “Owing to technical difficulties caused by extreme weather conditions in the area, there will be no new episodes of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! this weekend (Saturday and Sunday).

“I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! will be replaced tonight and tomorrow night in the ITV schedules by compilation shows (voiced by Ant and Dec) featuring best moments from previous series.”

Storm Arwen’s winds also destroyed a “magical” Christmas attraction on the “world’s oldest railway”.

The sold-out, 90-minute North Pole Express experience is popular with families who take the train from East Tanfield station in the north-east of England to see Santa and receive a Christmas present.

Damage to the North Pole Express experience at East Tanfield station.
Damage to the North Pole Express experience at East Tanfield station. Photograph: Tanfield Railway/PA

A volunteer from Tanfield Railway, where trains run on a rail dating from 1725, said the damage was “really disappointing”.

“There’s a lot of hard work put in [and] a lot of volunteer time put in,” David Watchman told PA Media.

“We’ve seen some extreme weather, we’re always prepared … but the winds were on a different level last night, and there’s only so much you can tie down and prepare for.

“It’s been totally different to what we’ve experienced before.”



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