Storm Bella batters UK with 83mph gales leaving hundreds of homes without power after Brits told to flee

2 months ago 11

STORM Bella has battered Britain leaving hundreds of homes without power after thousands fled amid severe floods and 83mph winds.

The storm bashed the UK's coastline with strong gales - bringing damage to buildings, flying debris, severe flooding, and power cuts.

⚠️ Read our UK weather live blog for the very latest news and forecasts.

Waves bashing the shore in Portcawl

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Waves bashing the shore in PortcawlCredit: Matthew Horwood

Storm Bella is set to bash Brits tonight, bringing a 'danger to life'

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Storm Bella is set to bash Brits tonight, bringing a 'danger to life'Credit: met office

Torrential rain and gale-force winds batter the south of England and Wales this evening

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Torrential rain and gale-force winds batter the south of England and Wales this evening

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On Saturday night, the Met Office said a gust of wind had been recorded at 83mph in the coastal village of Aberdaron in North Wales.

Their forecasters issued six warnings for Saturday - and said the weather was a 'danger to life'.

Sandbags were issued to flooded householders, police warned drivers to beware of trees being blown down and hundreds of homes were plunged into Boxing Day blackness.

In Cornwall, more than 100 homes were without electricity this evening in the Plymouth and Truro area, and 50 were blacked out in Bristol and Bath.

NO POWER

In Wales, 110 were hit in Cardiuff and more than 50 in the Swansea area.

But the storm was hitting further inland too - nearly 150 homes were blacked out near Telford and another 116 near Nottingham.

Power board engineers were working in 'rapidly deteriorating' conditions to find and fix the faults in the teeth of the howling wind and driving rain.

This comes as families were "strongly" urged by cops to leave their homes immediately on Christmas Day due to a risk of flooding.

More than 1,300 families living near the River Great Ouse in North Bedfordshire were told to find alternative accommodation or evacuate to local emergency centres.

Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site in Northamptonshire is underwater after the River Nene burst its banks

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Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site in Northamptonshire is underwater after the River Nene burst its banksCredit: GEOFF ROBINSON.

Flood water at The Barn Hotel in Bedford. Residents living near the River Great Ouse in the country are 'strongly urged' to seek alternative accommodation

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Flood water at The Barn Hotel in Bedford. Residents living near the River Great Ouse in the country are 'strongly urged' to seek alternative accommodationCredit: PA:Press Association

Huge waves are battering the shore at Blackpool

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Huge waves are battering the shore at BlackpoolCredit: Dave Nelson

 Flooding in St Ives, Cambridgeshire 

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 Flooding in St Ives, Cambridgeshire Credit: GEOFF ROBINSON.

Waters rise around Tewkesbury Abbey

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Waters rise around Tewkesbury Abbey Credit: SWNS:South West News Service

A cyclist navigates water in Clapham, Bedfordshire

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A cyclist navigates water in Clapham, BedfordshireCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

The fire service said it had "crews on the ground trying to divert water" - but the volume of water made the situation "very, very difficult".

In Bedford, benches, bus stops and parking meters are barely above the brown fast-flowing current in pictures of the sodden town.

Police even said that the need to evacuate "overrides" the coronavirus restrictions currently in place.

Superintendent Steve Ashdown said: "This is a really serious situation and we need people to take action in order to keep themselves safe."

And in Norfolk and Suffolk, severe flooding ruined Christmas for families who were forced to evacuate their homes with their unopened presents.

It's thought a few thousand people have had to evacuate their homes in the worst-hit areas in England.

Water levels on the River Waveney in Bungay were being monitored over Christmas Day after people were allowed to return to their damp and flooded homes.

FLOODING IN BEDFORDSHIRE

Emergency services worked to rescue more than 1,000 people from the flooding at Billing Aquadrome holiday park in Northamptonshire.

With more severe weather on the way, many Brits are hoping that the flooding does not get any worse.

The severe warning for Storm Bella cames into place at 8pm tonight and will last until 9am tomorrow.

The Met Office added: "Very strong southwesterly winds are expected for parts of south and southeast England and south Wales on Sunday morning.

"Inland gusts of 50-60 mph are likely with a few spots likely to see 60-70 mph for a time.

"Hills and particularly coasts exposed to the southwesterly winds will see a few gusts of 70-80 mph.

"In addition to the strong winds, a period of heavy, squally rain is expected and may prove an additional hazard."

Deputy Chief Meteorologist Tony Wardle, said: “Conditions will turn very unsettled after Christmas day, with a large area of low pressure sweeping across the UK from Boxing Day.

SNOW ON THE WAY

"Very strong winds will impact much of England and Wales, with particularly strong gusts on south west facing coasts."

Elsewhere, there are three separate rain warnings across the UK today- one in Wales and the west coast, the Highlands in Scotland, and North West England.

People in Scotland could see up to 80mm of persistent rainfall on high ground.

And gale force 80mph winds are expected as another severe wind weather warning touches all three countries in Great Britain.

Britain had its first White Christmas in three years yesterday - as snow fell in Suffolk and Humberside in the early hours of the morning.

But this is not the last time we will see snowfall this year.

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Tomorrow, the Met Office predicts that there will be "more widespread snow moving south over Northern Ireland."

And there will also be snow across parts of Wales next week, moving into central and southern England by Monday afternoon.

A person cycles through floodwater at Orton as the River Nene burst its banks in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

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A person cycles through floodwater at Orton as the River Nene burst its banks in Peterborough, CambridgeshireCredit: Paul Marriott

The torrential rain ruined Christmas Day for many - and more severe weather is on the way today

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The torrential rain ruined Christmas Day for many - and more severe weather is on the way todayCredit: Paul Marriott

Yarwell Mill Country Park flooded in Peterborough

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Yarwell Mill Country Park flooded in PeterboroughCredit: Rex Features

A number of flood warnings remain in place in Kempston and Bedford as Storm Bella brews

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A number of flood warnings remain in place in Kempston and Bedford as Storm Bella brewsCredit: Beford Borough / Twitter

Parts of the country were evacuated on Christmas because of the flooding

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Parts of the country were evacuated on Christmas because of the floodingCredit: Alamy Live News

Storm Bella hitting Britain tonight will cause a 'danger to life'

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Storm Bella hitting Britain tonight will cause a 'danger to life'Credit: Alamy Live News

The River Severn near Worcester, England, has broken its banks as surrounding farmland is under several feet of water

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The River Severn near Worcester, England, has broken its banks as surrounding farmland is under several feet of waterCredit: Alamy Live News

River Great Ouse has burst its banks, swamping the surrounding area

River Great Ouse has burst its banks, swamping the surrounding area

Businesses have also been flooded because of constant rain - and Storm Bella is set to make things worse

Businesses have also been flooded because of constant rain - and Storm Bella is set to make things worse

A man cycles on the embankment of the River Great Ouse after severe flooding in Bedford

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A man cycles on the embankment of the River Great Ouse after severe flooding in BedfordCredit: Reuters

UK weather forecast for Boxing day - Windy with heavy rain as Storm Bella hits

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