26 Aug Storm Francis: Homes flooded, rail lines blocked and campers rescued in wet and windy conditions | UK News
Storm Francis has hit the UK and Ireland – flooding homes, blocking rail lines and forcing some campers to be rescued amid strong winds and heavy rain.
Emergency services have warned people to take extra care in the stormy conditions, particularly along the coast.
The Met Office has issued an amber warning for very strong winds across most of Wales and central England. It is in force from 2pm to 10pm.
Gusts of up to 65mph could be felt inland, with forecasters warning of transport disruption, power cuts and potential flying debris that could lead to “injuries or danger to life”.
On the swollen River Taff, South Wales Police has been involved in two separate water searches.
Emergency services are searching the river in Cardiff following reports of a person entering the water near the city’s Principality Stadium shortly before 8.40am.
A river search in Taff’s Well is also under way, following reports a canoeist capsized.
A woman has also been rescued at the River Ely in Leckwith following reports of a person in difficulty, South Wales Police said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, firefighters rescued holidaymakers from a flooded campsite in the town of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after river levels rose in the area.
Nine people and two dogs were rescued, according to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, with crews using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.
In Wiseman’s Bridge, Narberth, crews gave medical treatment to one man and evacuated 30 other people from a flooded caravan site, while 12 caravans were also removed.
A number of homes in Wales are also said to have been hit by flooding – in Llanelli, Neath, Whitland and Tonyrefail – while some roads across the country have been left underwater.
Across the UK, travellers have been warned of the potential for flooding to disrupt rail services and trees blocking roads.
Gusts of 67mph were recorded at the Isles of Scilly between 8am and 9am on Tuesday morning, the Met Office said, while gusts of 73mph at the Needles on the Isle of Wight were registered at the same time.
A total of 65.8mm of rain was recorded by the Environment Agency as falling between 11pm on Monday and 7am on Tuesday at White Barrow in Devon.
In the same period, Natural Resources Wales recorded 61.4mm falling at Tavernspite in Carmarthenshire, while Spite in Glamorganshire saw 56.2mm.
As of 4.30pm, the Environment Agency had issued 20 flood alerts for England, largely in the South West and West Midlands.
There was also a more serious flood warning at Keswick campsite in the Lake District.
Natural Resources Wales had put out three flood warnings – advising immediate action – and 17 flood alerts for rivers across the South West.
The stormy conditions are expected to last until Wednesday morning, with three Met Office yellow weather warnings of heavy rain or strong winds covering most of the UK for Tuesday.
Forecasters say gusts of up to 70mph could hit exposed coasts and hills across Wales and most of England.
The increased wind speeds has seen the M48 bridge across the River Severn closed in both directions.
There were delays of up to an hour to some services in Wales after flooding caused lines to be closed for part of the morning in Neath.
Elsewhere, flooding on the line between Fernhill and Aberdare saw services suspended.
In Northern Ireland, a river burst its banks near the town of Newcastle.
There have also been roads blocked by flooding, a fallen tree and a downed power line.
In the Republic, Storm Francis brought severe flooding and strong gusts overnight, leaving homes and businesses without power.
West Cork has been particularly badly affected, with extensive flooding in Bantry, including The Square, New Street, Bridge Street and Main Street, damaging almost 50 properties.
According to Cork County Council, the damage was caused after prolonged intense rainfall in an already saturated ground.
A number of roads have been damaged and remain closed despite flood waters having been cleared.
Other flooded areas include Dunmanway, Rosscarbery, Connonagh, Clonakilty, Drimoleague, Leap, Ballydehob, Passage West and Youghal.
Skibbereen escaped further flooding, having been badly hit by Storm Ellen last week.