UK gales and storm surge - As it happened

Key points

  • Thousands of households along vulnerable coasts are evacuated as seawater floods coastal areas of eastern England and North Wales
  • The North Sea tidal surge is the worst since January 1953, the Environment Agency confirms
  • A lorry driver in Bathgate, W Lothian, and a man in Retford, Notts, die in weather-related accidents
  • The Environment Agency issues more than 50 severe flood warnings in Wales and the east of England
  • Rail services in Scotland, northern England and East Anglia are disrupted by the weather
  • Thousands of homes are without power in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland

Live text

Reporting:

  • Gerry Holt 
  • Andy Sully 
  • Catherine Lyst 
  • Keith Moore 

STANDARD 0430

Welcome to our live coverage of the storm that is set to hit large swathes of the UK, bringing with it gale-force winds and the risk of coastal flooding. Widespread travel disruption is predicted, too.

STANDARD 0433

We already know that Scotrail says at least 20 routes will be out of service, and all other train routes in Scotland will not run until 07:00 GMT.

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BBC weather forecasters say worst hit will be Scotland, where 80mph winds are expected, and the north and east of England.

STANDARD 0439

The Environment Agency says the North Sea coast from Northumberland to the Thames Estuary will be at risk of flooding later.

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The agency currently has one severe flood warning - indicating danger to life - for Sandwich Quay in Kent on Friday, plus more than 30 flood warnings and 50 flood alerts.

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The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued flood warnings for Central; Edinburgh and Lothians; Fife; and Skye and Lochaber.

STANDARD 0432

The Thames Barrier is due to close on Thursday night to protect London from floods.

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You can check the latest on disruptions to Scotrail services here.

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The main traffic route into Leeds city centre from the south will be closed - it passes the city's tallest building, Bridgewater Place tower, which a coroner this week ruled can influence wind conditions.