As it happened: Hurricane-force winds batter UK

Key Points

  • Wind gusts of over 100mph were recorded, transport disrupted and power to thousands of homes cut off
  • A man in his 70s was killed in a suspected electrocution while trying to remove a tree that brought down a power line
  • The Met Office issued its most severe red warning - for wind posing a "risk to life" - for much of Wednesday
  • Fourteen severe flood warnings were in place in Berkshire and Surrey, and two remained in place in Somerset
  • Sporting fixtures were affected, with Man City v Sunderland and Everton v Crystal Palace both off
  • In the Commons, David Cameron unveiled a package of measures to help flood-hit homeowners, businesses and farmers
  1.  
    05:18:

    Good morning and welcome to our coverage of more severe weather affecting parts of the UK. The Environment Agency has warned of further severe flooding in parts of Berkshire, Surrey and Somerset.

     
  2.  
    05:19:

    More than 1,000 homes have been evacuated along the Thames after towns and villages including Wraysbury, Chertsey and Datchet were flooded. Chief Supt Matt Twist, of Surrey Police, said the flooding in the county was "unprecedented" and warned that a further 2,500 homes were at risk.

     
  3.  
    05:22:
    Independent front page Wednesday's Independent leads with PM David Cameron's warning that flooding in England will get worse before it gets better - perhaps lasting for many more months.
     
  4.  
    05:23:
    Daily Express front page The Daily Express, meanwhile, warns of an "Atlantic superstorm" which could bring "more flood misery for thousands".
     
  5.  
    05:23:

    To read more coverage of UK floods, read Wednesday's newspaper round-up.

     
  6.  
    05:33:

    On Tuesday, PM David Cameron said money was "no object in this relief effort" but warned: "Things could get worse before they get better."

     
  7.  
    05:40:

    National Rail has warned of disruption caused by flooding. It says journey times between London Paddington and Reading are being extended by up to an hour with trains running at reduced speed.

     
  8.  
    06:00:

    Lucy Foster, who has been helping to run a flooding "control centre" at a primary school in Wraysbury, Berkshire, said the village had been "looking after itself for a long, long time and morale was getting very low, energy levels were getting low". Wraysbury had "finally" now received help from the Army, the police and the fire service, she added. Read our main weather news story for more.

     
  9.  
    06:02:

    BBC weather forecaster Elizabeth Saary says it is "not good news with more unwelcome rain on the way and some severe gusts as well". Watch her forecast here.

     
  10.  
    06:09:

    And in the Staines and Egham area, four schools are closed today because of the flooding.

     
  11.  
    Chris Smith:

    emails: I have family and friends in Ashford near Staines that have and are being affected by the floods but the local council are refusing to supply sand bags. How can the PM say money is not an issue if simple flood aids like sandbags are refused?

     
  12.  
    06:45:

    The Met Office is warning gusts could reach 100mph on Wednesday. It has an amber weather warning in place from 10:00 GMT to midnight, but there are fears that could be upgraded to a red alert.

     
  13.  
    06:55:

    More than 1,000 properties have flooded over the past week, but people have been warned many more homes are at risk.

     
  14.  
    07:03: Ben Geoghegan BBC News correspondent

    says in some places the flood zones looked like "war zones" as soldiers were out in force overnight to help with the flood effort, including Wraysbury in Berkshire.

    Soldiers
     
  15.  
    07:06:

    In Datchet, around 1,000 homes are still without electricity after a power cut on Tuesday evening.

     
  16.  
    07:07:

    While 16 severe flood warnings remain in place, the Environment Agency has also issued around 350 less serious flood warnings and alerts.

     
  17.  
    07:25:

    Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a Cobra emergency committee meeting in Downing Street later after he announced on Tuesday a package of measures including grants to help homeowners affected by flooding.

     
  18.  
    07:25:

    Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations at Network Rail, tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Wednesday will be another "difficult day" for passengers.

     
  19.  
    07:32:

    Network Rail's Mr Gisby tells the BBC there will be restrictions at Maidenhead in Berkshire because of the flooding which means that the company will only be running five trains an hour, when it would normally run 12.

     
  20.  
    Simon, in Sittingbourne, Kent:

    emails: People need to slow down when approaching large expanses of floodwater across roads. It's killing all our roads, especially the little ones as they may never get repaired. I know this is minor compared to what other people have to deal with but the waves they make are washing away the road and the verge and eroding the patience of everyone.

     
  21.  
    07:34: Phil Mackie News Correspondent

    says the River Severn in Worcester has risen more than expected overnight. Its level is 5.59m, 5cm below record 2007 levels. The Environment Agency is warning that might peak at 5.8m tomorrow, the highest level ever.

     
  22.  
    07:35: Phil Mackie News Correspondent

    Flood defences are built to withstand 5.7m but it's not clear what will happen if the River Severn goes higher than that. Worcester's road bridge is closed as well as the two foot bridges.

     
  23.  
    07:38:

    Network Rail's Mr Gisby warns that the high winds expected on Wednesday could have a further impact on train services. He says the company will also keep a close eye throughout the day on how the rain affects levels on the Thames.

     
  24.  

    Network Rail tweeted this picture of Bridgwater, in Somerset, taken on Tuesday highlighting the impact recent weather has had.

    View of flooding
     
  25.  
    07:59:

    BBC Weather's Carol Kirkwood outlines the latest forecast and wind warning.

    Carol Kirkwood
     
  26.  
    08:05:

    People are being warned that more homes will be flooded as rivers as rivers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are expected to rise in the coming days. About 60 properties have already been flooded.

    Severn from above
     
  27.  
    08:06: Phil Mackie News Correspondent

    says the main city bridge in Worcester is closed. He says the next 24-48 hours will be crucial to see if river levels rise further and cause more flooding.

     
  28.  
    Janine Sweet, in Bristol,

    tweets: How come Somerset gets to fend for itself in the floods, but London gets lots of attention? Not fair really...

     
  29.  
    08:08:

    John Campbell, Assistant Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme people in Wraysbury, Berkshire will see a lot more work being done to fight the floods on Wednesday.

     
  30.  
    08:18:

    Les Dodds, from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, says some people have already had to be rescued more than once after they went home and things then got worse again.

    "The likelihood is, with the forecast being as it is, coming up in the next few days, that we may have to rescue the same people on a number of occasions."

     
  31.  
    08:19:

    Since Sunday, 538 people have been rescued from floods in Surrey alone. Out of those rescues, 350 took place on Tuesday, according to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

     
  32.  
    Conservative MP for Reading East, Rob Wilson,

    tweets: Offered Reading & Wokingham Councils any help they need re floods. All they have to do is ask and it will go straight to No.10.

     
  33.  
    08:28:

    John Campbell, Assistant Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, says residents affected by flooding in Wraysbury, Berkshire, seemed happier than previously.

    "Clearly they were frustrated that they didn't think enough was being done in the first instance," he says.

     
  34.  
    08:34: Roger Harrabin Environment analyst

    says David Cameron's cash promise refers to flood relief - it's not a blank cheque for flood defences. He says this government's floods spending is lower than the previous Labour government (although total spending is higher thanks to local councils).

    This government's floods spending is lower than the previous Labour government (although total spending is higher thanks to local councils).

     
  35.  
    08:37: Roger Harrabin Environment analyst

    adds that what's more, ministers are ignoring their own climate change advisers, who say that the cost of flood damage in the UK is likely to increase from £1bn to £3bn as the world warms.

    They say another £0.5bn must be spent over four years just to keep pace with the climate - and this figure may go up following the current shocking floods.

    Government rules will come under scrutiny too. Every £1 spent on flood defences gives £8 of benefit. Yet other schemes - like a relief road in Hastings - have no proven benefit.

    Follow Roger on Twitter @rharrabin

     
  36.  
    08:37: Phil Mackie News Correspondent

    took this picture this morning of a flooded street in Worcestershire.

    Flooded street
     
  37.  
    08:38: Nick Robinson Political editor

    says politicians are using the current floods crisis to show the electorate how much they care about their local areas.

     
  38.  
    08:38: Nick Robinson Political editor

    says: "This is a year of elections. That's why you saw Nigel Farage out in his wellies, along with Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron."

     
  39.  
    08:38:

    Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin tells Radio 4's Today programme the government must accept that British weather goes from one extreme to the other.

     
  40.  
    08:55: Sam Wilson BBC News
    Flooded road

    sent this image showing the extent of flooding at Memorial Roundabout in Shepperton, Surrey.

     
  41.  
    Margaret Darke, in Okehampton, Devon:

    emails: Has the government any plans to help house owners to clear up their homes once the flooding stops? Cameron and his crew look very dapper in their "flood inspection" attire complete with hard hats but what help is that when people are homeless and likely to be for months or even years to come?

     
  42.  
    09:00:

    Met Office shipping forecast now warning of Hurricane Force 12 winds imminent in sea areas Lundy, Fastnet and Irish Sea.

     
  43.  
    09:04: Sam Wilson BBC News

    tweeted this picture from Shepperton in Surrey of water streaming across fields and a road.

    Flooded road
     
  44.  
    Jake, in Folkestone, Kent:

    emails: Flood waters in the fields outside of Ashford are creeping ever closer to the railway line. Not long until the line is submerged - and this is also part of the HS1 route. Are the council working with National Rail to make sure this doesn't happen? No evidence of action from them so far!

     
  45.  
    09:07:

    Mr Campbell, of Thames Valley Police, tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme that they have been advised by the Environment Agency that "flood levels at the moment are going to get no worse" in that area.

     
  46.  
    09:08:

    The AA is urging drivers, no matter how experienced, to take extra care on the roads today. Read its advice for driving in strong winds here.

     
  47.  
    09:15: Mark Wilkinson:
    A man rowing on a flooded rugby pitch

    emails this photo of Team GB Olympic rower and bronze medallist, Adam Freeman Pask, using his skills to get across a flooded rugby pitch in Home Park in Windsor, Berkshire.

     
  48.  
    09:15:

    With an update on the situation in Surrey, Chief Superintendent Matt Twist says about 1,000 homes in the county have been flooded so far. Emergency teams have evacuated about 600 properties - 102 of which were evacuated overnight.

     
  49.  
    Jess Cox,

    tweets: Good to see distribution of sandbags now according to priority in #Datchet instead of free for all. #floods

     
  50.  
    09:27:

    Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin tells the BBC: "We have got to accept that there is more extreme weather and how do we become resilient for it."

     
  51.  
    09:27:

    Mr McLoughlin says: "It wasn't many years ago that we were all talking about droughts and the problem of whether our under-ground water will ever fill up again."

     
  52.  
    Nicky Robinson, in Stourbridge, West Midlands:

    emails: My heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrendous period of weather. But it does seem that since flooding and the threat of flooding has now come from the Thames that government and assistance is now jumping about. Or is this to do with the reporting on TV? Will such funding be made available to protect and help other areas of the country, north of Watford?

     
  53.  
    Louise Davis,

    tweets: Can anyone in Datchet please go find the old man who just cried about his flooded home on @BBCBreakfast and give him a cuddle from me!

     
  54.  
    09:36:
    David Cameron

    The prime minister has been briefed by the Ministry of Defence's Major General Patrick Sanders at today's Cobra meeting.

     
  55.  
    David Prestwich,

    tweets: Maybe PM's strategy is to generate so much paperwork from all these "meetings" that he can use the paper as flood defence barriers?#floods

     
  56.  
    09:37:

    Robert Moran, chief executive of Elmbridge Borough Council, says thousands of sandbags are being delivered daily to Runnymede, Spelthorne and Elmbridge - the most heavily-hit areas of Surrey.

     
  57.  
    09:38:

    But Mr Moran, of Elmbridge Borough Council, warns flooding in those areas has been so extensive, it's been difficult to build effective sandbag walls.

     
  58.  
    09:38:

    The Elmbridge Borough Council chief adds that the area now has a "major problem" with groundwater flooding, where properties don't have to be near a river to be flooded.

     
  59.  
    09:38:
    Porthleven Harbour

    The waves in the English Channel, out in the distance, batter against the walls of Porthleven Harbour, west Cornwall. The scene is expected to become much nastier at high tide at around 13:00 GMT.

     
  60.  
    09:40:

    Rev Tim Hillier, vicar of St Peter's Church in Chertsey, Surrey, praises the "amazing pulling together of the community" and "camaraderie".

     
  61.  
    09:45:

    Rev Hillier says: "At times like this it's our role as a church to support our community that's really hurting.

    "We have the church open for people to just be still if they like."

     
  62.  
    09:46:
  63.  
    FLAG Somerset,

    tweets: Emergency Flood Relief Works #somersetfloods #SomersetLevels pic.twitter.com/wKk41FwT0r

     
  64.  
    09:52:

    Here's a view from the BBC News helicopter of the floods in Shepperton and Thames Valley.

    Shepperton and Thames Valley floods
     
  65.  
    Andy Rodger, in Seaton, Devon:

    emails: Becoming very windy and gusty down here in Seaton. Once again, trees being bent.

     
  66.  
    09:55:

    The Environment Agency's David McKnight, in Surrey, says although water levels are starting to stabilise on some parts of the Thames, with a huge amount of rain to come, levels are likely to "climb back up" into the weekend.

     
  67.  
    10:22:
    Major Jim Skelton, of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

    Major Jim Skelton, of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, tells the BBC News Channel the military is providing man power to assist the community in Wraysbury, Berkshire, in any way it needs. They are going house to house, visiting the worst-hit areas, to reassure residents and supply them with the essentials they need to survive.

     
  68.  
    Anthony Floyd:

    tweets: imagine london right now if the Thames barrier was never invented? we'd be underwater by now

     
  69.  
    Chris Mac, in Shepperton, Middlesex,

    emails: Front line staff from the Environment Agency like my husband have been working around the clock since Boxing Day when all the recent flooding first started. He is exhausted and being verbally abused by the very people he has come to help.

     
  70.  
    10:27:

    Robin Gisby, operations director of Network Rail, tells the BBC News Channel that travel will "get more difficult" for passengers over the next few days.

     
  71.  
    10:28:

    Mr Gisby says current problems are being caused by groundwater rising rather than flooding. "There's a bit of a lull right now but with the rain coming in tonight and tomorrow and the Thames rising over the next few days it is going to be very difficult for passengers coming towards the weekend."

     
  72.  
    10:28:

    People still living in the flood-hit village of Moorland on the Somerset Levels have said the Environment Agency has not done enough to help them.

    Man standing in flood water
     
  73.  
    10:29:

    BBC weather forecaster Darren Bett tells the News Channel today's combination of rain and wind means it could be the stormiest it's been all winter. Wales could see gusts of up to 100mph as the latest storm to hit the UK kicks in, he says.

     
  74.  
    10:30:

    An elderly resident forced to leave her bungalow in a village in Surrey affected by flooding spent the night at an evacuation centre. The 85-year-old tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I looked out, my garden was a flood and ever since the morning from 9 o'clock it was coming up and up and up.

    "I couldn't get out because I got slippers on, so anyway I think the army were around but I didn't see the army.

    "There was firemen, fire rescue - they're good, firemen. They came to the door and it was coming up then over the step and he came in and he helped me get my things together. He brought me to Thorpe Park in a fire engine. I didn't mind it."

     
  75.  
    Kevin Smith,

    tweets: Off to lend a hand where I can. Bucket and wellies at the ready. #colnbrook #Datchet #Wraysbury

     
  76.  
    10:37: David Shukman Science editor, BBC News

    demonstrates just how much water is underground in the UK by showing what happens when you open up a borehole.

    Opening up a borehole
     
  77.  
    10:37:

    Up to £60m not spent by the Department of Transport this year could be used to help repair the rail network battered by the recent storms.

    Damage caused to track near Stonegate, Sussex, following a landslip
     
  78.  
    10:38:

    The Environment Agency urges anyone seeking flood advice to call the Floodline 24/7 on 0345 988 1188.

     
  79.  
    Breaking News
  80.  
    10:51:

    The red warning for wind gusts of up to 100mph in west Wales and north-west England is valid from 13:30 GMT until 21:00.

     
  81.  
    10:48:

    The Met Office says winds of this magnitude "can cause widespread structural damage, bringing down trees and also leading to loss of power supplies". In addition, large waves are likely to affect some coasts, it says.

     
  82.  
    10:48:

    The public should take action to alter their travel arrangements during this spell of storm force winds, the Met Office adds.

     
  83.  
    10:48:
    Snow in Bowes

    As southern England continues to be battered by floods, the town of Bowes in Durham awoke to a blanket of snow today.

     
  84.  
    10:49:

    There is major disruption to some rail services. Here are the main delays and cancellations:

     
  85.  
    10:49:
    Pic

    A quick reminder of what the different levels of weather warnings mean. A yellow warning indicates severe weather is possible and people should "be aware", while amber indicates "be prepared", as the weather is worsening. Red means "take action". The Met Office has a handy guide on its website.

     
  86.  

    North Wales Police tweets: Met Office warnings in place today - please don't put yourselves or others at risk by going to weather affected areas to take photographs.

     
  87.  
    10:53:

    SP Energy Networks warns customers that high winds across Merseyside, Cheshire and north Wales today may also impact electricity supplies.

     
  88.  
    10:54:

    Robin Gisby, operations director of Network Rail, says the biggest concern right now is high winds. Network Rail is very concerned about trees falling on lines, he says.

     
  89.  
    10:57:
  90.  
    10:58:

    Environment Agency Midlands tweeted this picture of its barriers at Bewdley, Worcestershire protecting the town from high levels on the River Severn.

    Flood barriers at Bewdley
     
  91.  
    BBC Weather

    A RED weather warning means take action as extreme #weather is expected. Damage, travel & power disruption & risk to life is likely.

     
  92.  
    BBC Weather

    RED warning means increased potential for damage to property and infrastructure. Alter your routine to accommodate stormy weather.

     
  93.  
    11:02:

    BBC Weather confirms it is the first red warning to have been issued by the Met Office this winter.

     
  94.  
    11:03:

    Phil Ward, Porthleven's harbour master, says winds on the Cornish coast are "lifting the backs of the cars nearly".

     
  95.  
    11:03: Ben Brown BBC News

    in Staines-upon-Thames reports a local GP has been forced to set up a temporary doctor's surgery in a pub due to the ongoing floods crisis.

     
  96.  
    11:07: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    says Chancellor George Osborne, who doesn't usually attend Cobra meetings, made an appearance at today's emergency briefing, perhaps to rein in any of his colleagues who suddenly thought that the coffers were open and they could help themselves.

     
  97.  
    11:07:
    Snow in north Yorkshire

    Here is a snowy scene on the hilltops of the Pennines, near Leyburn, north Yorkshire.

     
  98.  
    11:08:

    Video footage from the BBC News helicopter shows the extent of the flooding in the Thames Valley.

    Floods in Thames Valley
     
  99.  
    11:09:

    Have you been affected by the severe weather or floods? Please get in touch using the form in our main story. Send your pictures and videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International).

     
  100.  
    11:09:

    Here's a reminder of the latest on flood warnings for England and Wales. There are:

    • 16 severe flood warnings - indicating danger to life - in place
    • There are 121 flood warnings - indicating flooding is expected and immediate action is required
    • 225 flood alerts are in place, meaning flooding is possible, be prepared

    For a full list, updated every 15 minutes, check here.

     
  101.  
    11:10:
    BBC graphic

    The Met Office says coastal areas of west Wales and north-west England are likely to bear the brunt as southwesterly (later westerly) winds widely gust to 80mph and possibly 100mph in the most exposed locations.

     
  102.  
    11:11:
    Graham Satchell, in Porthleven, Cornwall

    The BBC's Graham Satchell, in Porthleven, Cornwall, tells the News Channel conditions there are "incredibly unpleasant". He says it is difficult to stand up in such high winds and strongly advises people to stay indoors.

     
  103.  
    BBC Weather
    This satellite picture clearly shows the low pressure affecting the UK today. #ukstorm

    This satellite picture clearly shows the low pressure affecting the UK today. #ukstorm

     
  104.  
    David Batt-Rawden, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire:

    emails: My brother has text me to say that they are being battered by "very heavy rain and 80 mph wind" on Bodmin Moor, in Cornwall, and he lives in a Caravan.

     
  105.  
    Supriya in Colnbrook, Berkshire:

    emails: My husband and I phoned the council and Environment Agency weeks ago expressing our concern over the floods and literally had to beg for sand bags, only to be told several times that neither of them provide sand bags. Are you kidding me? Had the council or EA been more prepared, so much of this could have been prevented. You're able to provide sandbags now are you?! Well they aren't helping us now we're flooded and have had to move out with hardly anything.

     
  106.  
    11:13: Jonathan Morris BBC News, Plymouth

    says Haldon Forest Park on the edge of Exeter will be closed again today because of the severe weather.

     
  107.  
    11:16:
  108.  
    11:16:

    You can follow all the latest updates in our main BBC News website story or on the BBC News Channel.

     
  109.  
    National Rail
  110.  

    PC Scott Martin of North Wales Police tweets: Very poor driving conditions across North Wales - severe rain and wind! Slow down, leave more gap between you and others and lights on!

     
  111.  
    11:20:

    BBC forecaster Darren Bett tells the News Channel red weather warnings are very rare - you usually get one or two per year. It's the highest level of alert - it's very serious, it's life threatening and it means people should take action now. "It does not get any worse than that," he says.

     
  112.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    No 10 says PM's " money no object" promise applies to current #floods relief and is not a wider spending pledge

     
  113.  
    11:40:

    Prime Minister's Questions is coming up at midday and will no doubt be dominated by the flood relief effort. We will bring you all the latest lines as they happen.

     
  114.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Cash for "money no object" #floods relief will come from departmental and Govt "contingency funds"

     
  115.  
    11:41: Dan Sewell:
    Swan swimming in flood water surrounding a bin

    sent these pictures to yourpics@bbc.co.uk of Windsor town centre in Berkshire.

    Sandbags in Windsor
     
  116.  
    11:49: Dominic Blake BBC Radio Solent

    says many employees at the Petersfield depot, in Hampshire, gave up their Christmas leave and came in on Boxing Day to help with the flood relief effort, and some have had only one or two days off since.

     
  117.  
    11:48: Dominic Blake BBC Radio Solent

    reports from the Hampshire County Council depot at Petersfield, Hampshire that workers there have filled more than 18,000 sandbags since Christmas.

     
  118.  
    Breaking News

    David Cameron is to chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra, at 17:30 GMT, Sky News reports.

     
  119.  
    11:51: RNLI

    WATCH: Dramatic footage of volunteers from @NewhavenRNLI exercising in rough seas this weekend

     
  120.  
    11:51:
    Taz Delaney

    Army general operative Taz Delaney in Petersfield says the flooding seems to be going "on and on and on".

     
  121.  
    11:51:
    BBC

    Sandbags are loaded up at the Hampshire County Council depot at Petersfield, due to be sent across the county to fight the flood.

     
  122.  
    Diana, in Gloucestershire,

    emails: My daughter, husband, five children, two cats and one dog live in Eton Wick, in Berkshire the water is about 80 yards from their home. They are not getting any information or sandbags. Why are hundreds of people not getting any help?

     
  123.  
    Burnham Area Rescue Boat

    BARB's boat crew has been deployed to Moorland as further heavy rain falls in the area. #SomersetFloods

     
  124.  
    11:52: Jonathan Morris BBC News, Plymouth

    says fallen power cables are blocking roads at Carbis Bay, Cornwall and on the A387 between Liskeard and Looe. A tree is also blocking the A30 heading between Penzance and Land's End.

     
  125.  
    12:00:
    Criccieth, north-west Wales
    Criccieth, north-west Wales
    Criccieth, north-west Wales

    This is the scene in Criccieth, north-west Wales, where the severe weather has damaged flood defences.

     
  126.  

    Devon highways operations manager Hugh Griffith tweets: A3052 fallen tree partially blocking the road reported as on top of the hill near Newton Poppleford #devonraods

     
  127.  

    Dartmoor Zoo in Devon tweets: The severe weather has us closed again - spare a thought for the keepers & volunteers out & about despite the conditions.

     
  128.  
    12:01:

    Paul Bennett, at the home of his 78-year-old mother in Egham, Surrey, says the water in her garden is three feet deep.

     
  129.  
    12:02:

    Mr Bennett says: "The water isn't in my mum's house as it's built on stilts but other houses in her street have already flooded by at least a foot. My mum is 78 and she's adamant that she wants to stay in her home."

     
  130.  
    12:02:
    Thames aerial pic

    Some dramatic pictures have been coming in from the BBC helicopter, which took a journey along the flooded Thames.

     
  131.  
    Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron reiterates to MPs in the Commons: "When it comes to this relief effort, money is no object and we will spend what is needed to help people."

     
  132.  
    12:03: Virgin Trains

    Poor weather conditions causing disruption in Wales on Wednesday 12 February #UKStorm

     
  133.  
    12:04:

    David Cameron says we will go on seeing more "extreme weather events" and says he is not ignoring expert advice.

     
  134.  
    12:04: Ben Moore BBC News

    took this picture of the Environment Agency's block on the bed of the River Itchen as it continues to flood under the M3.

    Itchen flood
     
  135.  
    12:05:
    The BBC's Hywel Griffith

    The BBC's Hywel Griffith, in the village of Aberdaron, on the western tip of the Llŷn Peninsula, tells the News Channel high winds are really starting to batter the area. He speaks to residents there who say they have never seen weather like it.

     
  136.  
    12:08:
    David Cameron

    Mr Cameron says there are "thousands" of military personnel ready to deploy. "All the military assistance required is there - all people need to do is ask for help."

    He was answering a question from Labour leader Ed Miliband in which he called for an assurance that victims will get help when they need it.

     
  137.  
    12:08:

    Ed Miliband asks about gas and electricity supplies to flood-hit areas. Mr Cameron assures MPs that any potential problems with sub stations and water treatment works are being monitored.

     
  138.  
    12:09:

    What did Mr Cameron mean exactly when he said money was "no object", asks Mr Miliband.

     
  139.  
    12:10:

    Money will be there for the current relief efforts to help people with water "lapping at their door", says Mr Cameron.

     
  140.  
    12:13:

    Mr Miliband challenges Mr Cameron to reverse the 550 redundancies at the Environment Agency.

    Mr Cameron says all of the authorities will have to look again at their flood preparations when the crisis is over. He lists the help that is going to businesses and homeowners in affected areas - including 100% business rate relief.

     
  141.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    PM "I don't want people to worry about penny pinching" over #floods relief #pmqs

     
  142.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Four times PM has been asked to reverse redundancies for @EnvAgency staff. Four times he avoids direct response #floods #pmqs

     
  143.  
    Breaking News

    Businesses and homeowners hit by floods will be eligible for grants of up to £5,000 to better protect their properties as they repair the damage caused, David Cameron says.

     
  144.  
    12:16:
    Ed Miliband

    David Cameron accuses Mr Miliband of wanting to create division when the country should be coming together to tackle the crisis.

     
  145.  
    12:16:

    Mr Cameron tackles a question on the Dawlish rail link - Network Rail will get all the help it needs, he says.

     
  146.  
    Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron says businesses affected by flooding will get 100% business rate relief.

     
  147.  
    12:24:

    Former Lib Dem minister David Heath, who represents a Somerset constituency, calls for action to prevent floods in the future. Mr Cameron promises to meet him to discuss ways of protecting the area.

     
  148.  
    12:25:

    Plymouth Labour MP Alison Seabeck calls for action to reduce the impact of the floods on public transport. Mr Cameron lists what is being done. Ms Seabeck appears to nod in approval.

     
  149.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Second peak in Thames water levels expected on Sunday and Monday putting 800 homes at risk says PM #pmqs #floods

     
  150.  
    Clifton Sup Bridge

    tweets: Currently closed to vehicles due to high winds. Cyclists must dismount and use the pedestrian footway.

     
  151.  
    12:26:

    Here's a round-up of announcements made today by Mr Cameron at PMQs:

    • Grants of up to £5,000 for businesses and homeowners hit by flooding to protect them in future (new)
    • A £10m fund for farmers who have seen their land waterlogged (announced yesterday)
    • 100% business rates relief for small businesses affected by the floods (new)
     
  152.  
    12:27:

    There are Met Office yellow warnings of snow in place for Yorkshire and Humberside, Northumberland, Cumbria, as well as Strathclyde and SW Scotland.

     
  153.  

    The Sunday Times' Isabel Oakeshott tweets: Cameron now trying to demonstrate the full extent of his grip on the flood crisis by rattling off zillions of facts and figures #pmqs

     
  154.  
    12:28:
    Waves crashing into Chiswell, Dorset

    This photo was sent to BBC Weather by Richard Broome in Chiswell, Dorset

     
  155.  
    12:38:

    A photograph of the rising water levels at Rutland Water reservoir, sent in by Daniel Purse

    Rising levels at Rutland Reservoir
     
  156.  
    Met Office Storms

    Recent wind gust 81mph at Plymouth and 96mph in SW Ireland. Widely over 70mph in coastal areas of Wales

     
  157.  
    12:38:

    Tory MP Brian Binley calls for an end to building on flood plains. Mr Cameron says London is partly on a flood plain so it would be impossible to do that, but expert advice must be followed.

     
  158.  
    12:39:

    Devon and Cornwall are open for business! Mr Cameron promises a marketing campaign for the area - where he has been known to holiday himself, he says - when the crisis is over, in answer to a question from Lib Dem Torbay MP Adrian Sanders.

     
  159.  
    12:40:

    Arriva Trains Wales has said speed restrictions will be imposed across the whole of the Wales route from 14:00 until 20:00. "This will lead to delays and cancellation of some services."

     
  160.  
    13:43:

    Weather having an impact on many rail services. Arriva Trains Wales are advising passengers to travel as early as possible today, while alternative road transport may not be able to be provided due to poor road conditions.

     
  161.  
    Dave Throup, Environment Agency Manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire
    Pic

    Appalling does not even begin to describe conditions in #Worcester at the moment. River still rising

     
  162.  
    12:41:

    Virgin Trains has said no trains will run between Holyhead and Bangor, while delays of up to 50 minutes between Bangor and Chester are expected.

     
  163.  
    12:41:

    PMQs has moved on to other topics for the moment but we will bring you any further lines on the flood relief effort as we get them.

     
  164.  
    12:52:
    Ben Brown

    The BBC's Ben Brown, in Staines-upon-Thames, tells the News Channel the rain is coming in really hard now - it's torrential and will get even more torrential, he's told. That is the last thing floods victims along the Thames Valley need, he adds.

     
  165.  
    12:53:
    A sign draped over a bridge on the River Parrett

    This sign, calling for rivers to be dredged, has been draped on a bridge over the River Parrett

     
  166.  
    Supt Kevin Purcell

    News from multi agency meeting. River levels in Bewdley remain high. However barriers and pumps coping well. Bridge Closed. #Bewdleyopen

     
  167.  
    Sandy Todd, in Wraysbury, Berkshire:

    emails: It is a sad world we live in when looters steal from abandoned homes due to the floods. I have had to chain up my gates and leave security lights on to deter them, it is a worse misery than the floods itself.

     
  168.  
    12:53:

    Flooding at Whyteleafe means that trains between Purley and Caterham are being delayed by up to 15 minutes, says National Rail.

     
  169.  
    13:01: Nick Robinson Political editor

    tells Daily Politics that voters who aren't political obsessives will be watching the party leaders donning wellies in flood-hit areas of England and judging whether they look like they can keep a cool head in a crisis.

    Their verdicts will have important consequences, not just for the European elections in May, but also for next year's general election, he predicts.

     
  170.  
    13:09: National Rail

    Trains between #Liskeard and #Looe are currently suspended - buses will run subject to local road conditions

     
  171.  
    13:09: Dominic Hurst, BBC newsgathering

    The wind is really hammering in from the sea at Lyme Regis, Dorset, accompanied by driving rain. Our edit vehicle parked near the seafront is rocking in the gale. Outside the masts of the boats taken out of the water for safety are swaying and whistling in the wind. Huge waves are crashing over the Cobb, the stone wall protecting the harbour.

     
  172.  
    13:10:
    Chipping and wheelbarrows in Burrowbridge

    In Burrowbridge, in Somerset, residents have been using chipping to try and protect their homes.

     
  173.  
    13:10:
    Makeshift defences along the banks of the River Parrett, in Burrowbridge

    Makeshift defences have been erected along the banks of the River Parrett, in Burrowbridge, Somerset

     
  174.  
    13:10:

    The Met Office has been constantly updating its weather warnings today, as well as extending them and broadening them for additional parts of the UK. For the latest warnings visit their website.

     
  175.  
    13:13: BBC Weather
  176.  
    13:14:

    Holyhead coastguard Mark Craddock tells the BBC he has never experienced storms of this power.

    "I've been in the operations room 15 years and its the first time I've put a hurricane warning out. Luckily today we are expecting the hurricane to hit - worst - at low water at Holyhead - which is going to be at three o'clock this afternoon - it won't be high water then - at the moment we have 60 mph winds here on Anglesey."

     
  177.  
    13:20:
    Before and after photo of a flooded road in West Berkshire.

    There are some incredible 'before and after' photographs highlighting the devastation in some of the worst-hit parts of the UK.

     
  178.  
    13:22: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    I think it's true to say that Mr Cameron won himself big and bold headlines with his assertion that money was no object - but today that assertion is looking a lot less big and bold and may in fact be much more of a political millstone. This is because we have learned this is not new money, this is money from existing departmental contingency budgets and this means that money is much more limited.

     
  179.  
    13:29:

    Some more of what Mr Cameron had to say earlier at PMQs:

    "I want communities who are suffering and people who see water lapping at their doors to know that when it comes to the military, when it comes to sandbags, when it comes to restoring broken flood defences, all of those things, money is no object.

    "To be fair to the transport secretary this is what he said this morning: 'money is not the issue while we are in this relief job'. That's what he said, he is absolutely right."

     
  180.  
    Wendy Gigney, Charlton Marshall, Dorset:

    emails: We have not been able to get our cars out for six weeks due to our flooded road. The drains are never cleared, if they were I don't think it would be as bad.

     
  181.  
    Ian Jeffery, in Shepperton, Surrey

    I have just spent all morning on the phone to Surrey County Council & the Environment Agency seeking help. Both organisations say that help should come from the other one. There is no co-ordination or real help, just words from politicians. I have water 'lapping at my door' with no one prepared to do anything. Disappointing but not surprising.

     
  182.  
    13:32: BBC Radio Jersey
    Wind warning

    reports a wind warning for Jersey has now been updated to a red, the most severe warning possible.

     
  183.  
    13:32:

    Speed restrictions have been put in place across the Forth Road Bridge, in Scotland, officials have said.

     
  184.  
    13:33:

    Find out what the Environment Agency's different flood warning codes actually mean.

     
  185.  
    13:33: Virgin Trains

    UPDATE: Due to the adverse weather conditions, the @Irish_Ferries Dublin Swift sailings from Holyhead are suspended until further notice.

     
  186.  
    BBC Weather

    Winds are currently gusting to 92mph in Mumbles near Swansea. In the last hour a ship south of Ireland recorded a gust of 99mph.

     
  187.  
    13:34:
    Flooding in Chertsey

    Flood levels in Chertsey, near the River Thames, in Surrey have now reached waist levels, according to the BBC's Anna Polizio.

     
  188.  
    Environment Agency

    Remember, we have a new Floodline number to offer advice & guidance 24/7 0345 988 1188 #floodaware

     
  189.  
    13:35:

    A number of schools in Anglesey, off the north west coast of Wales, have announced they are to close today due to the bad weather, Isle of Anglesey County Council has said.

     
  190.  
    National Rail

    Trains are currently suspended between Fernhill and Aberdare because of flooding at Cwmbach. Replacement buses will run where possible

     
  191.  
    Phil Spanswick, in Lambourn, Berkshire:

    emails: Everybody is talking about the flooding in the Thames area but what about the flooding further up? The river Lambourn started to overflow the first week of January. Now we have two of the four routes into Lambourn closed due to floods, the next village down (Eastbury) is closed because the river has burst its banks on both sides. This river then joins the Kennet at Newbury which in turn joins the Thames at Reading.

     
  192.  
    13:38:

    Virgin Trains has said passengers travelling north of Preston today who have booked onto a specific train will be allowed to travel earlier due to the adverse weather.

     
  193.  
    13:40: Nadia Jones, in Devon:

    emails: My parents live in Datchet, in Berkshire. Luckily so far they are not under water in their ground floor flat. However I was disgusted to learn when speaking to my mum last night that only by chance she happened to see some sandbags. She asked a man who they were for and he said "anyone" so with that my sister ran to get their wheelie bin and they managed to load 5 sandbags but could manage no more. I might add my mum is 60 years old and my dad 70. Why are the fire brigade or army troops not handing these out?

     
  194.  
    Times

    The award for oddest weather-related story of the day has to go to the Times, with this effort in today's paper.

     
  195.  
    13:54:

    While the UK is battered by high winds, BBC Weather says a storm battering southern parts of the USA will begin to move north east tonight.

     
  196.  
    BBC Scotland Weather

    tweets: Wet weather continues to move north - it's snow above 200m. Here's the latest from Beattock on the M74.

    A lorry on the M74 in Scotland
     
  197.  
    South West Trains

    tweets: #Bracknell NEW - Owing to a train hitting a tree near Bracknell, services running through here subject to delay, cancellation & alteration

     
  198.  
    13:55: Sarah Ransome, BBC correspondent, Somerset Levels

    Fighting back the tears, one woman told me she had to get out of her house and do something - anything to take her mind off the relentless flooding and the constant sight of an inland lake at her back door. There is no sign of an end in sight. After weeks of living on a waterlogged land, the emotional impact is really beginning to show.

     
  199.  
    Judith Moritz, BBC north of England correspondent
    Central pier at #Blackpool closed. Though the sun is out, it's cold - wind speeds already high here

    Central pier at #Blackpool closed. Though the sun is out, it's cold - wind speeds already high here.

     
  200.  
    14:08:

    The Met Office have confirmed that this is not a hurricane, but there are hurricane-force winds within the storm.

     
  201.  
    14:08:

    Clifton Suspension Bridge has been closed due to high winds.

     
  202.  
    14:08:

    The M48 Old Severn Bridge has been closed to all traffic because of the wind but the new one (M4) remains open.

     
  203.  
    Phil Mackie

    tweets: Been a bad day for brollies in #worcester

    A battered umbrella in Worcester
     
  204.  
    Paul Bennett, in Egham, Surrey:

    emails: I'm at my mum's house where the water is already about three feet deep in her garden. I'm trying to get things ready in case her house floods. She's 78 year-old and is adamant she wants to stay in her home. She has electricity and gas, but the toilets aren't working. The fire service was evacuating her neighbours by dinghy earlier but there's no-one about now. The level of help is a bit underwhelming - I was expecting more activity, but perhaps they evacuated more people before I arrived.

     
  205.  
    Dave Throup, Environment Agency Manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire
    @philmackie enjoys some truly extreme conditions in #Worcester

    The BBC's @philmackie enjoys some truly extreme conditions in #Worcester

     
  206.  
    14:11: AA Sort

    Stopping distances are 2-3 times greater in the wet. Also, with the strength of the winds please give more room to other vehicles.

     
  207.  
    14:12:

    Figures obtained by BBC Surrey show about 17,000 sandbags had been delivered to the Spelthorne and Runnymede areas of Surrey, 5,000 filled bags are available and there are 16,000 empty bags.

    About 100 tonnes of sand is in stock and 500 tonnes of sand is on order. The Welsh Fusiliers have been filling bags at a depot near Guildford.

     
  208.  
    14:12:

    Latest wind gusts:

    • 110mph at sea off the coast of southern Ireland, along with 33ft waves
    • 92mph - Mumbles Head, south Wales
    • 81mph - Aberdaron, north Wales
    • 81mph - Plymouth, Devon
     
  209.  
    Virgin Trains

    Anyone travelling from Stoke to Manchester, Crewe to Liverpool and Crewe to Manchester from 1600 are to expect delays of up to 30 mins due to speed restrictions. #UKstorms

     
  210.  
    14:21:

    The Environment Agency says 50 homes along the Thames Valley were flooded overnight, bringing the total number of homes flooded since 29 January to 1,135.

    During this time over 181,000 homes have been protected and over 200,000 homes have been sent a flood warning following the wettest January since 1766, it says.

     
  211.  
    Virgin Trains

    tweets: UPDATE: Due to high winds, please only travel if absolutely necessary. Please see this link for more info virg.co/EIzOE

     
  212.  
    14:23:

    The Environment Agency has just issued an update on flooding along the Thames and in Somerset.

    Windsor, Maidenhead and communities along the Thames in Surrey remain at high risk of flooding from the Thames today and Thursday - with significant flooding of homes and businesses expected.

    With further rainfall forecast for today and on Friday and Saturday, the risk of flooding is likely to increase over the next few days. There are currently 14 severe flood warnings in force for the Thames Valley area.

     
  213.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    £10m scheme to help farmers with flooded lands will be up and running by end of month say Govt #floods

     
  214.  
    14:25:

    Here is the latest satellite image of today's UK storm, from the Met Office.

    Satellite image of the storm over the UK
     
  215.  
    14:29:

    The Environment Agency says: "Across the country our teams are out in force 24/7 deploying sandbags along riverbanks, clearing river blockages, monitoring water levels, sending out flood warnings and deploying temporary defences.

    "Over the past week 23 demountable defences have been put up - including at Osney near Oxford, Purley on Thames, Guildford, Cookham and Kenley in Croydon - to help provide additional protection to at risk communities."

     
  216.  
    BBC Bristol
    Bridge

    Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge swings in high wind. It has now reopened after a closure over lunchtime.

     
  217.  
    14:30:

    Ireland's Shannon airport in South West County Clare has closed due to high winds. Earlier wind strengths of 110mph were recorded off the SW coast.

     
  218.  
    14:30:

    The QE2 Bridge, at the Dartford Crossing, has been closed by the Highways Agency because of high winds, after speed restrictions were initially put in place this morning.

     
  219.  
    14:34: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Government say banks making £750 million available for #floods victims in repayment holidays and loan extensions

    Banks taking part in £750m #floods help include @santanderuk @RBSGroup @Barclays @Nationwide and @AskLloydsTSB

     
  220.  
    Andrew Hughes, Llanberis, Gwynedd, Wales:

    emails: We were flooded in November last year and had no help from the council or government and on top of that it took seven months to get paid from our insurance. We only got half of what their builder quoted plus I only agreed because my son got bronchitis. We are still trying to repair the house on a very low budget. We've not had it as bad as Somerset but we are still suffering from the floods even now.

     
  221.  
    14:48: Breaking News

    The Press Association is reporting that Environment Agency staff are not being sent to a flood-hit area because of hostility from members of the public. It is understood staff were abused in the Wraysbury area of Berkshire, and have now been told to report any incidents to the agency.

     
  222.  
    Mia Roberts, Fishguard, South West Wales

    emails: It's really windy here at the moment. It started a couple of hours ago and the wind has just got stronger and stronger, it's really blowing things over outside now - blowing canopies off. It's raining too, it's really nasty weather out there, I'm not sure if it's going to get worse! We'll just have to wait and see I guess!

     
  223.  
    15:14:

    Downing Street has just confirmed there will be a second emergency Cobra meeting this afternoon.

     
  224.  
    Breaking News

    The Met Office has just confirmed it has recorded a gust of wind of 106mph in Aberdaron, in north west Wales, in the last hour

     
  225.  
    Sian Lloyd BBC Midlands Correspondent

    tweets: The rising River Severn in Bewdley #floods

    River Severn
     
  226.  
    15:23:

    The West Coast Maine Line will close at around 1900 GMT on Wednesday for two hours because of high winds, Robin Gisby, managing director for network operations at Network Rail has announced.

     
  227.  
    Southern Rail UK

    tweets that a lightning strike in the Angmering and Barnham area has caused signalling problems, which are now resulting in delays of up to 15 minutes

     
  228.  
    15:24:

    The River Severn has now equalled its highest recorded level in Worcestershire, it has just been announced.

     
  229.  
    15:24:

    All schools in Pembrokeshire have been closed because of the weather, it has been announced. People are being urged to stay indoors.

     
  230.  
    15:24:
    Snow at the Glenshane Pass, in the Sperrin Mountains in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

    Snow has been falling in parts of Northern Ireland. This photo was sent in to BBC Weather by EJ McKenna of the Glenshane Pass, in the Sperrin Mountains, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

     
  231.  
    Paul Hudson BBC Weather

    tweets: Frequent showers this evening & tonight turning increasingly to snow especially over Pennines, where blizzard conditions likely at times.

     
  232.  
    15:26:
    Car hit by tree

    Fallen tree hits car on Sterncourt Road in Bristol.

     
  233.  
    15:26:
  234.  
    Traffic South

    tweets: Cuckfield - London Road closed due to fallen cables

     
  235.  
    Daphne Jones, Staines, Surrey

    emails: I'm really angry with the Highways Agency. They are doing road-works and cycle lane work in Staines along the A30 from the Crooked Billet to Ashford Hospital. This is one of the only routes out at the moment as all the other roads are flooded. I'm annoyed by their stupidity and arrogance - they think they can put up cones and do this work until the end of March while all this flooding is here.

     
  236.  
    National Rail

    tweets: #UKStorm - disruption is expected between Cardiff Central and Pontyclun because of a tree on the line at Pontyclun

     
  237.  
    15:32:

    Surrey Police has just said around 1,000 homes in the area had been affected by flooding, with 600 people evacuated.

    "Latest forecasts indicate more rain is expected and water levels will continue to fluctuate over the coming days and into next week," a force spokesman said.

     
  238.  
    15:32:

    Western Power Distribution says more than 20,000 homes and businesses in south Wales, south-west England and West Midlands are currently without power. A spokesman tells the BBC "those numbers are changing" hour-by-hour.

     
  239.  
    15:42:

    The construction equipment giant JCB is to send four high-speed tractors to areas where people and livestock need to be moved away from advancing flood waters, it has said.

     
  240.  
    15:43: Tom Upton, Swansea, Wales

    emails: I was with my girlfriend driving when the wind started picking up enormous amounts of sand. We couldn't see what was happening because of the amount of sand in the air. It was pretty crazy.

    People were hiding in bus stops, one man was hiding his dog under his coat. It was horrendous. We then went up the coast and the storms were even worse. The wind would blow you over.

     
  241.  
    15:43:

    Following on from news that the West Coast Mainland will close this evening, Virgin Trains has urged customers travelling from Glasgow to south of Carlisle and from the south to destinations north of Preston not to travel.

     
  242.  
    15:43:

    Network Rail has revealed more details of the West Coast Mainland closure tonight, saying it will be in place between Preston and Shap. The closure will affect stations in Lancaster, Oxenholme and Penrith.

     
  243.  
    15:44:
    Floods in village of Medmenham

    A danger sign can be seen in the village of Medmenham, Buckinghamshire, which has been flooded by water from the Thames.

     
  244.  
    BBC Weather

    tweets: Hurricane force #winds will peak in parts of Wales and NW England in the next couple of hours.

    BBC weather map
     
  245.  
    Chris Wooton, Staines, Surrey

    emails: Our flooding started during Monday night and continued throughout Tuesday morning. People in the neighbouring road were already being evacuated. It was a good response from the police and the army. We finally left our house on Tuesday afternoon. We still had electricity but we live in a bungalow and the water was rising, so I had to get my family out.

    Now it's a question of how long it will be until we can go back. Just now, myself, my wife, our three kids and our dog are all staying with my mum which isn't ideal. I'm trying to get hold of our insurance company. I tried to contact the council on Monday to get sandbags - that was the only disappointment from the services, there weren't enough sandbags.

     
  246.  
    15:51:
    Flooded street in Staines

    Here's an image of a man and a little boy making their way through a flooded street in Staines, in Surrey, in a row boat.

     
  247.  
    Jon Sopel

    tweets: Former UK Minister Nick Brown on #BBC Global: No one wants to see political figures grand-standing during #UKfloods

     
  248.  
    15:52:

    Justin Bowden, national officer of the GMB union, said: "For more than seven weeks since Christmas the Environment Agency's staff have been run ragged helping and supporting the victims of flooding. GMB members have been working double and triple shifts around the clock to protect and assist."

     
  249.  
    South West Trains

    tweets: #Bracknell UPDATE - Tree on the line at Bracknell removed, line re-opened however services running through here subject to residual delay

     
  250.  
    15:57:

    So, to recap, wind gusts of more than 100mph have been recorded in parts of the UK, causing damage to tree and power lines, as Prime Minister David Cameron repeated his pledge that "money is no object in this relief effort".

    Sixteen severe flood warnings remain in place, while the Met Office has issued its first "red warning" of the winter, warning there is a "risk to life".

    Cobra, the government's emergency meeting, is also due to meet again this afternoon.

     
  251.  
    Naomi, Powys, Wales

    emails: The wind is really picking up in Powys now. It's been blowy all morning but in the last half an hour the wind's really got up!

    There are fences coming down, bins blowing around and rubbish everywhere! I've just been outside chasing my recycling bin down the drive!

    It was raining earlier but seemed to have stopped now, but the wind is really something, it's blowing things all over the place, it nearly blew me over when I went out just now!

     
  252.  
    15:58:

    Sian Manaz, from Staines-on-Thames, tells the BBC News Channel: "It is driving rain at the moment, no doubt the water levels are going to rise again, and there has been absolutely no help from anyone."

     
  253.  
    National Rail

    tweets: Trains are currently suspended between #Hereford and #Abergavenny because of flooding

     
  254.  
    16:09:

    A new high has been recorded in Aberdaron, in Wales, where a gust of wind has been measured at 108mph, beating the earlier high of 106mph.

     
  255.  
    16:10: BBC's Norman Smith

    tweets: No 10 say some of planned financial help schemes for homeowners, farms and businesses hit by #floods will be up and running "within days"

     
  256.  
    Breaking News

    Wales has been offered military help as winds of over 100mph battered the coast and around 6,300 homes were left without power.

     
  257.  
    16:12:

    Here is a graphic to illustrate the scale of the devastation the floods have caused in the Thames Valley area and across the UK.

    Caption highlighting the situation in Surrey
     
  258.  
    16:13:

    Following on from reports that Environment Agency staff were abused in Wraysbury, an agency spokesman says: "Some of our staff faced verbal abuse whilst working in Wraysbury on Monday. For a short while, we temporarily withdrew staff on the advice of the police. Our staff were back in Wraysbury yesterday and again today."

     
  259.  
    Danny Savage North of England Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: It is getting car door breakingly breezy. Turning vehicles into the wind before we get out. Otherwise hinges make horrible noise.

     
  260.  
    North Wales Police

    tweets: Wind is becoming treacherous, particularly along the coast in Gwynedd, Anglesey & Conwy. Please don't travel unless absolutely necessary.

     
  261.  
    16:21:

    The Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, Major General Patrick Sanders, has described the floods as an "almost unparalleled natural crisis".

     
  262.  
    BBC Weather

    tweets: I think the #ukstorm is peaking now in northwest Wales, the 108mph from Aberdaron could well be the strongest gust we get.

     
  263.  
    16:46:

    The M6 motorway has been closed in both direction in Cheshire. Closure is in place between Thelwall Viaduct between J20 and J21 due to high winds.

     
  264.  
    Breaking News

    There are currently 42,000 homes in South Wales, 10,000 in North Wales, 8,100 in the South West and 10,000 homes in the West Midlands without power, the latest figures given to the BBC reveal.

     
  265.  
    16:48:

    Rail services in lots of places are being delayed and cancelled because of the weather, for the latest on individual train operators visit National Rail's website.

     
  266.  
    16:50:

    Following the M6 closure because high winds making high level Thelwall Viaduct too dangerous, the M62 between junction 22 and 23 has also been closed both ways.

     
  267.  
    16:50:

    This is the weather forecast map for the UK for 17:00 GMT.

    Weather forecast map for 5pm
     
  268.  
    16:50: Matt Drew from the Enrironment Agency

    tweets: No idea where the rumour we are leaving #Wraysbury came from. We are still here & residents are fantastic. Helping them as best we can do.

     
  269.  
    16:51:

    The Britannia Bridge, across the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales, has been closed after a lorry overturned in gales.

     
  270.  
    16:57:

    Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondent, says the government has just confirmed Network Rail will be given £31.3m to spend on 10 flood protection schemes in the west.

    But he adds: "It's not really new money. Network Rail actually asked for the cash nearly a year ago, long before the rains came, and they were so confident that they'd get it that they've already spent about £5m so far."

     
  271.  
    16:59:

    North Wales Police confirm a driver has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following a collision on the Britannia Bridge, which was closed earlier.

     
  272.  
    BBC's Norman Smith

    tweets: Tomorrow's cabinet meeting to be scrapped and replaced by first meeting of new "Floods Recovery Committee" chaired by the PM #floods

     
  273.  
    17:08:

    A quick reminder that 16 severe flood warnings remain in place from the Environment Agency and a red warning from the Met Office remains in place for north-west England and Wales.

     
  274.  
    BBC's Phil Mackie

    tweets: My view for @bbc5live tonight #worcesterfloods

    A flooded street in Worcester
     
  275.  
    17:13:

    Amazingly, there are windsurfers out in Criccieth, in Wales, where gusts of wind have topped 100mph. A local councillor tells the BBC: "When the weather is like this it is quite normal for them to be out."

     
  276.  
    17:18:

    Network Rail says Crewe station has been evacuated due to damage to the station roof.

     
  277.  
    17:20:

    The strongest winds are now easing in south Wales, according to BBC Weather, the strongest gust in the last hour was recorded in Aberdaron at 103mph, compared to 108mph earlier.

     
  278.  
    17:21:

    The QE2 Bridge, at the Dartford Crossing, has been reopened but there are "severe delays" in both directions on the M25.

     
  279.  
    17:22:

    Network Rail confirms Crewe station is now closed after roof damage and power lines came down in high winds.

     
  280.  
    17:27:

    BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin says that in terms of damage to life and property, these floods are by no means unprecedented. The Environment Agency says 5,800 properties have been flooded since the start of December. And a handful of people have died from weather-related incidents. Compare that with 2007 when 55,000 homes were flooded. Or 1946-47 when 100,000 properties were inundated as snow melted. Or 1607, when more than 2,000 people died when a storm swept up the Bristol Channel.

    The comparisons aren't completely accurate because flood defences have increased over the years.

    So is it perhaps an unprecedented political weather crisis? Well, after 1947 the government was voted out and the pound devalued and the weather was held partly responsible. We're not there. Yet.

     
  281.  

    Virgin Trains has warned "all services" across the firm's network are to expect delays due to overhead wire issues.

     
  282.  
    17:28:

    Shropshire Council says there are severe problems there - there are almost 30 road closures due to floods and fallen trees.

     
  283.  
    17:29:

    The BBC's Becky Kelly says the overhead power cables that have come down in high winds, causing Crewe station to close, are on fire. Firefighters are at the scene and hundreds of passengers are now at a nearby hotel.

     
  284.  
    17:32:

    Residents who could be affected by flooding have been advised to pack a "flood kit" of medicines, hearing aid batteries, glasses and contact lenses, insurance documents, bank cards, clothes and a toothbrush, by Public Health England.

     
  285.  
    17:35:
    Crash on Britannia Bridge over to Anglesey

    This photograph from BBC reporter Chris Dearden shows the scene on Britannia Bridge, between the Welsh mainland and Anglesey, after a lorry blew over.

     
  286.  
    17:38:
    Lorry blown over on Britannia Bridge to Anglesey

    Another photograph of the lorry blown over on Britannia Bridge, in Wales.

     
  287.  
    17:40:

    Paul Davies, Met Office chief meteorologist, warns: "The winds through Wednesday afternoon and evening will be damaging and will bring down trees, causing travel disruption and disruption to power networks."

     
  288.  
    17:51:

    A child has suffered minor injuries after a tree fell on a car at Poynton in Cheshire. There were five people in the car but no-one else was hurt.

     
  289.  
    Virgin Trains

    Virgin Trains, which operates across large parts of the UK including between London and Edinburgh, posted a message in capital letters on its official Twitter account urging "all customers to abandon travel".

     
  290.  
    17:58:

    Greater Manchester Fire have tweeted all officers off work to come in if they can - they have 40 live calls currently.

     
  291.  
    17:58: National Rail

    No trains are able to call at Manchester Airport station because of damage to the station roof #UKStorm

     
  292.  
    17:59:

    The River Severn has reached a new record level in Worcester - 5.65m at Barbourne in the city at 17:00 GMT.

     
  293.  
    18:00:

    There will be no train service between Bangor and Holyhead in North Wales until 20:00 tonight and no alternative road transport. Network Rail will impose a 50mph speed restriction between Crewe, Stoke and Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle until midnight and Chester and Bangor until 20:00.

     
  294.  
    18:01:
    Warnings

    Here is the latest map of UK weather warnings. The Met Office earlier issued its first "red warning" of the winter, meaning there is a "risk to life", and there are also less severe amber and yellow warnings in place.

     
  295.  
    South West Trains

    #Basingstoke #Salisbury NEW- Signalling problems at Basingstoke, all lines running through this station are currently blocked...

     
  296.  
    18:02:

    The M60 Barton High Level Bridge in Greater Manchester is closed in both directions. A lorry has overturned on to a car.

     
  297.  
    18:03:

    The most up-to-date figure for homes without power in Wales is 87,000. This is 45,000 with Scottish Power in mid and north, and 42,000 with Western Power Distribution in the south and west.

     
  298.  
    18:03:

    A man was taken to hospital after becoming trapped under a fallen tree in Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon. Two fire crews discovered the man trapped under a large branch of the tree at around 14:15 GMT. Firefighters used small tools and lift equipment to release him.

     
  299.  
    18:03: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Chancellor George Osborne and chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander have been unusual guests at today's two Cobra meetings which tells us that money is central to the efforts of helping flood victims.

     
  300.  
    BBC Weather

    Winds have now peaked in NW Wales (latest 101mph Aberdaron) but are getting stronger in N England 92mph High Bradfield #ukstorm

     

UK Winter Storms

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