Storm Eunice: Blizzards will lead to power cuts says expert
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A red weather warning, which is the highest alert and means a high impact is very likely, has been issued by the Met Office due to the combination of high tides, strong winds and storm surge. People are being urged to stay at home as the Army is placed on standby ahead of Eunice’s arrival.
The Met Office said there is a risk of flying debris resulting in danger to life as well as damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down.
The warning covers the coastline of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset as well as the south coast of Wales. It will be in effect from 7am until 12pm on Friday.
Bristol City Council has declared a major incident and advised the public to avoid travelling on Friday morning where possible.
A Twitter user praised the move, asking: “Can you also cancel recycling/bin lorries and announce that? [I]t would be great if the service could be cancelled and a wider alert given? There could be a lot of damage from flying bins/boxes.”
The suggestion led one Twitter user to ask: “What about bin collection?”
Another tweeted: “Checkout worker at Tesco in Tavistock says folk have been panic-buying since mid-morning. Beer, mostly – and pot noodles. #StormEunice.”
A fourth Twitter user joked: “Most fellow Devon residents will take #StormEunice in their stride. I’m taking no chances. My sourdough yeast is now in its specially constructed bunker.”
Another quipped: “I’m going to miss my Friday Wetherspoons breakfast by the looks of things!”
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While a sixth chimed in: “So putting my washing out tomorrow in 100mph winds. Dry in no time. Such a thrill seeker.”
Forecasters predict wind speeds up to 100mph with warnings of flying debris endangering life, damage to buildings, power lines brought down, roads closed and cuts affecting mobile phone coverage.
Some coastal properties could also be flooded with large waves throwing “beach material” onto coastal roads.
Amber warnings, the second highest alert level, for wind are in place across the whole of England from 5am to 9pm on Friday.
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Yellow weather warnings, the next level down, for wind and snow are in force for a large part of Scotland, where blizzards are predicted, and the whole of Northern Ireland.
Severe and significant flooding may also hit coastlines along the south and west of England with spring tides expected on Friday morning.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Army is on standby to help people affected by Storm Eunice.
On a visit to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, he said: “So for those who have already been affected by Storm Dudley, we are offering all the support that we can.
“My sympathies to those who are still without power. We are working with the power companies, the local authorities to get their juice restored as fast as possible. But of course, the Army is on standby.”
North Cornwall, North Devon and Sharpness in Gloucestershire are feared to be the worst-hit areas due to the tidal impact from the surge and very high spring tides.
Fluvial flooding, when the water level in a river, lake or stream rises and overflows, is likely over the weekend in areas including the Pennines, North Yorkshire, Lancashire and the upper reaches of the River Severn.
The Environment Agency has issued 11 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – along the River Severn near Gloucestershire, South Wales and Somerset.
There are 57 flood alerts, meaning flooding is likely, across England. These numbers are expected to rise.
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