Saturday, December 4

Bella lashes Britain: force winds hit 100mph-toppling trees and leaving thousands without electricity



Winds reached more than 100mph overnight as Storm Bella battered the UK bringing rain and blowy conditions across the UK.

Two threat to life flood warnings remain in place in Northamptonshire after days of wintry weather across the Christmas break, with a cold snap with icy and wintry conditions still to come.

The top wind speed was recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight where it reached 106mph overnight on Saturday.

Aberdaron in north west Wales experienced gusts of 83mph, and locations on the south coast of England, including Dorset, got close to 80mph.

Elsewhere in the UK, there was severe flooding with fire crews dispatched to rescue those were caught out or left stranded by flood waters.

The most severely affected areas including Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire where heavy rain has caused the regions’ rivers to burst their banks.

The Cambridgeshire fire and rescue service confirmed they had received 336 flood-related calls, with Alconbury and Ramsey being the hardest-hit areas.

Two severe flood warnings indicating a potential threat to life are still in place at Cogenhoe Mill caravan site near Northampton and on the River Nene near Billing Aquadrome on Sunday morning.

In total, there are 115 flood warnings and 204 flood alerts in place across the UK as flooding is expected to continue. 

The disruption caused by Storm Bella continued into Sunday morning when flooding on the tracks caused cancellations and delays.

All trains between Bournemouth and Southampton Central were stopped due to water on the line, Great Western Railway said, and one of the major lines into London was also blocked when a tree fell on to the tracks in Haslemere, Surrey.

On Sunday, yellow weather warnings for ice and snow remained in place across Scotland, northern England, Northern Ireland and parts of North Wales.

Snow and sleet is a possibility in Scotland from Sunday morning, and will move south throughout the day, bringing the risk of ice and bad driving conditions.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and parts of northern England are also subject to a yellow warning for snow and ice from today into Monday, with a band of rain, sleet and up to two inches of snow set to fall.