North England storms cause travel disruption and power cuts

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image copyrightDurham Police
image captionA static caravan was blown from a lorry on to the A1 in County Durham

Northern England has been hit by strong winds, causing road accidents, disruption and power cuts.

A lorry overturned on the M6 in Cumbria and a section of the A1(M) in County Durham was closed after a static caravan was blown off a lorry on to the road.

There have been train delays across the region and some parts of Cumbria lost their power supply.

Yellow alerts for further strong wind and rain are in place across the north.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called to a report of a trampoline blown onto a number of cars in Sunderland

Firefighters were also called to the Debenhams store in South Shields after reports its roof was in a dangerous condition.

media captionStorms in the North of England brought down trees

George Petri, a lorry driver travelling through Cumbria on the M6, said he had never seen weather conditions so bad.

"This is the worst that I've ever seen it and I've been driving for 30 odd years. Terrible, absolutely terrible," he said.

Police said several roads had been blocked by fallen trees. Gusts of 107mph were recorded in the Pennines early on Friday.

image copyrightNorthern Rail
image captionA piece of metal was blown on to the railway track between Newcastle and Sunderland but has since been removed

The wind brought down a tree in Low Fell, Gateshead. In Jarrow, South Tyneside, the gable end of a house collapsed under the strain of the wind at 04:00 GMT.

Northern Rail temporarily suspended services between Newcastle and Sunderland after a large piece of metal - thought to be from the floor of a Transit van from a nearby garage or factory - blew on to the track.

In Cumbria, obstruction on the line between Penrith and Carlisle led to disruption to First Transpennine Express and Virgin services.

There were also delays to East Coast services in the North East.

image copyrightShields Gazette
image captionFirefighters were called to a wind-damaged property in Selkirk Street at 04:00 GMT

The Met Office issued a yellow alert for Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland, Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire, forecasting strong wind, heavy rain and a chance of snow.

Its chief forecaster said a depression had been developing over the Atlantic in association with a very strong jet stream.

It is said to have been triggered by sub-zero temperatures in the US hitting warmer air.

For the latest on the roads visit the BBC's travel news page and keep up to date with incidents and roadworks on the motorways here.

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