Man dies as Storm Arwen reaches 80mph winds

The Met office is urging people to stay weather aware this weekend and only travel if needs be after one man has died.

By Emma Downey
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 9:07 am
Updated Saturday, 27th November 2021, 9:08 am

The man was killed when his car was struck by a falling tree in Antrim.

The news comes after the Met Office issued a rare red weather warning yesterday for the UK as Storm Arwen reached 80 mph winds which are still gusting at 60-70mph in exposed locations first thing this morning.

A Met Office statement said: "People should stay away from the coast as waves and debris are a danger to life."

Some of the overnight destruction caused by Storm Arwen.

A main road through Blackpool was also closed yesterday evening following reports of a building collapse above a firework shop.

The partially collapsed building on the corner of Springfield Road and promenade has since reopened and there were no casualties.

The Leyland light switch on which was scheduled for today has also been cancelled due to the severe weather, and people have also reported power cuts.

Engineers from Electricity North West responded to power cuts throughout the night with many more teams on standby.

The partially collapsed building on the corner of Springfield Road and promenade in Blackpool.

The high winds caused damage to the overhead electricity network, as well as falling trees blocking roads causing delays to engineers reaching equipment to make repairs.

The weather caused 69,000 properties to lose power overnight, with engineers having restored 37,600 by 7:30am Saturday morning. As repairs are made further damage and power cuts in other areas are expected due to the continuing high winds.

Wind speeds topped 60mph overnight made conditions unsafe for engineers to climb electricity poles to repair damage in many areas.

As well as continually monitoring the weather, Electricity North West was well prepared with more than 70 extra engineers on standby overnight ready to respond.

The partially collapsed roof.

Clive Wilkinson, Operations Director at Electricity North West said: “Last night's conditions were treacherous and extremely severe with debris and falling trees damaging a large number of overhead powerlines, mainly in Cumbria and Lancashire.

“The Met Office’s weather warnings remain in place as do our teams on the ground to respond to any ongoing issues or new damage to the network.

“If anybody sees any damage to overhead lines or electricity equipment, please stay away as it could be dangerous, and report it to us immediately by calling 105.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue also had a busy night attending to a number of incidents caused by the Storm Arwen including damaged buildings and fallen trees.

Thankfully there were no casualties.

Multiple warnings will remain in force as a mix of rain, sleet and snow are also on the way.