Storm Barney: Disruption to power supplies and travel

image copyrightAFP
image captionFalling masonry hit a BMW in Leigh, Greater Manchester

Thousands of homes were left without electricity and trains were disrupted after Storm Barney brought winds of up to 85mph to parts of the UK.

Barney - the second UK storm strong enough to be named by the Met Office - saw winds peak on Tuesday evening, before conditions calmed overnight.

Most of the homes cut off in Wales, southern and eastern England and the Midlands have now been reconnected.

Severe weather warnings for wind remain in place for northern parts of the UK.

The Met Office is forecasting more strong winds of up to 70mph for Wednesday night in southern and central Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland and northern England.

Storm Barney left the UK at about 02:00 GMT on Wednesday, after gusts of 85mph in Aberdaron and 83mph in South Yorkshire were recorded.

In other developments:

image copyrightGoogle/Andrew Buck
image captionThe 150ft (46m) Fort Shopping Park tower before Storm Barney (left) and on Wednesday morning

Network Rail said items including a garden shed, a gazebo and a trampoline had blown onto lines.

In Birmingham, a mast fell in high winds at the Fort Shopping Park. The park's management tweeted that no one had been hurt.

An apartment block in Greater Manchester had to be evacuated on Tuesday evening after the gable end of the roof collapsed.

A BMW parked outside the property in Leigh was destroyed by a hail of bricks and masonry in winds of up to 60 mph.

Dean Bates, who lives in the building, said: "I had just walked through the doors and I heard this almighty crash and I virtually jumped out of my skin."

image copyrightPhil Keable
image captionA 60ft (18m) tree fell onto two houses, a car and a motorcycle in Didcot, Oxfordshire
image copyrightNetwork Rail
image captionA tree fell on overhead wires on the train line between Lichfield and Birmingham

Several energy companies have said extra staff are on duty to repair damage and react to further problems.

'Storm selfies'

The Met Office has warned there could be further flooding and disruption when more rain falls on already saturated ground in the next few days.

image copyrightAFP
image captionCoastal towns like Aberystwyth experienced the strongest winds

Barney is the second storm considered strong enough to be given a name under a new system introduced by the Met Office and its Irish counterpart, Met Eireann.

The aim of the pilot project is to help raise awareness of severe weather and any public safety issues.

Forecasters said the unsettled weather was the result of a series of low-pressure systems moving in from the Atlantic.

They predicted a change in the weather at the end of the week, with colder air spreading from the north and bringing wintry showers to northern parts of the UK.

Storm Abigail caused widespread damage last week, leaving more than 20,000 homes without power and forcing schools to close in Shetland and the Western Isles.

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