Storm Ciara: Man dies after tree falls on car during gales

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media captionHastings lifeboat nearly capsized as it answered an emergency call at the height of Storm Ciara.

A 58-year-old man has died after a tree fell on his car in Hampshire during Storm Ciara on Sunday.

Police said the man, from Micheldever, was driving on the A33 when the accident happened just before 16:00 GMT. He died at the scene.

It comes as the UK continues to feel the after-effects of the storm which brought flooding and severe gales.

Trains, flights and motorists face further disruption, while many flood warnings remain in place.

Yellow weather warnings for snow, ice and wind are also in force for large swathes of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England until 12:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Forecasters said some areas could see blizzards and up to 20cm (8in) of snow.

Hampshire Police released a statement on Monday saying a 58-year-old man died after a tree fell on the Mercedes he was driving from Winchester to Micheldever.

"His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers," the statement added.

More than 500 properties are believed to have been flooded during Storm Ciara, with that number expected to increase as more information is collected, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said.

She added that between 40 and 80cm of rain had fallen within 24 hours across much of northern England.

Ms Villiers said the government would provide "significant financial support" for the areas affected by flooding.

Earlier, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick activated the government's emergency Bellwin scheme for areas of West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire, which allows for funding to be activated.

Elsewhere, wintry conditions have swept across Scotland, with many roads being affected by snow.

Four people had to be rescued near the summit of Ben Nevis, in the Scottish Highlands, after getting caught in blizzards.

image copyrightREUTERS/Russell Cheyne
image captionA Land Rover drives on a snow-covered road near Trinafour, Scotland.

Forecasters said that the snow and high winds would bring blizzards to many parts of Scotland on Tuesday.

image copyrightDafyn Jones
image captionConditions on the A4212 between Bala and Trawnsfynydd in Gwynedd caused people to abandon their journeys

North Wales Police said snow ploughs and gritters are being deployed and that people leaving their cars were putting their lives at risk.

Meanwhile, homes were evacuated in Brentwood, Essex, in the early hours of Monday after a car fell into a sinkhole on a residential road.

image copyrightNick Ansell/PA Media
image captionFirefighters were called to this residential street in Essex in the early hours of Monday morning
image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, in Cumbria, was one of those severely hit by flooding
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe clean-up operation is also taking place in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire

Some areas experienced a month-and-a-half's worth of rainfall and gusts of 97mph on Sunday, resulting in flooding and power cuts for more than half a million households.

Flood warnings remain in place across the UK, including 71 in England, 24 in Scotland and three in Wales.

Engineers have managed to restore electricity to the vast majority of homes but more than 20,000 properties across east and south-east England and north Wales spent Sunday night without power.

UK Power Networks said by Monday evening electricity had been restored to 99% of the 353,000 homes and businesses that experienced outages because of the storm.

image copyrightNetwork Rail
image captionTrees continue to cause problems for the trains - this blocked the line between Dorking and Horsham on Monday morning
image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe River Ouse in York was one of the rivers which burst its banks
image copyrightAmanda Webster
image captionA sinkhole opened up in Belfield, Greater Manchester, following the storm

Flooding and debris also caused problems for rail passengers, with disruption expected to continue on Tuesday.

On Monday, the West Coast Main Line had no trains running north of Preston because of earlier flooding at Carlisle.

All lines have since reopened at Carlisle but Avanti West Coast warned some trains may still be cancelled or delayed.

Impact so far of Storm Ciara

  • 97mphgusts, and heavy rain

  • 20,000Homes without power Sunday night

  • 24 hours’ rainfall in parts of UK, equivalent to that of1.5 months

Airlines operating to and from UK airports were also affected, with more than 100 flights cancelled.

Ferry services between Dover and Calais have also been hit by delays and cancellations.

image copyrightTraffic Scotland
image captionThere were difficult driving conditions on the A82 and many other roads across Scotland
image copyrightNetwork Rail
image captionParts of the Cambrian rail line in Wales are under water
image captionA stand at Wisbech Town Football Club in Cambridgeshire buckled in the strong winds

Forecasters are expecting the unsettled weather to last further into the week.

"While Storm Ciara is clearing away, that doesn't mean we're entering a quieter period of weather," said Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill.

"We have got colder air coming through the UK and will be feeling a real drop in temperatures, with an increased risk of snow in northern parts of the UK and likely in Scotland.

"There could be up to 20cm (8in) on Tuesday and with strong winds, blizzards aren't out of the question."

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