Billboard blown apart by strong winds in Plymouth

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Media captionStorm blows side off a billboard in Plymouth city centre

A billboard has been blown apart as strong winds and heavy rain battered the country.

Pieces of the structure in Plymouth city centre were ripped off by stormy weather and fell to the ground, narrowly missing shoppers.

A Booker store, in Newquay, Cornwall, also lost parts of its roof as 70mph winds hit the coastal town.

More than 6,000 homes were without power and fallen trees have affected transport routes.

The strongest gust was measured at Berry Head, in Devon, of 81mph, the Met Office confirmed.

For weather updates in your area visit BBC Weather

Image caption Strong winds have damaged the roof of Booker in Newquay
Image caption A Lidl store was damaged by falling debris
Image caption Booker said it was working to repair the roof

Cornwall firefighters are assisting in making the store at Treloggan Industrial Estate safe.

The estate, including a McDonald's and Morrisons, have been closed to the public.

A Booker spokesperson said: "We are currently working with authorities and are seeking to repair it as soon as possible."

BBC Radio Cornwall has tweeted footage of the roof.

Image caption Firefighters work to secure the Booker roof

Heavy rain caused flooding throughout Northamptonshire. Read updates on the BBC Local Live page

Image caption Northamptonshire has also seen flooding with the A4500 at Southview near Kislingbury affected.

Flooding caused 14 schools to close in Warwickshire.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue said it had rescued a number of people trapped in their cars due to rising floodwater.

In Dorset, a road was closed following a landslip and a two mile (3km) diversion was put in place.

Image caption High water at Kenilworth Ford, Warwickshire, made the road impassable
Image copyright Dorset County Council
Image caption Dorset County Council said the landslip had displaced concrete barriers put in to stabilise the slopes

A group of celebrities taking part in a Sport Relief sailing challenge have docked at Plymouth to shelter from gale force winds.

Alex Jones, Hal Cruttenden, Ore Oduba, Angellica Bell, Doon Mackichan and Suzi Perry are part way through the Hell on High Seas challenge - an attempt to sail from Belfast to North Shields in five days.

Read more on this story as it develops on our Local Live pages.

The Met Office issued yellow warnings - which advises people to "be aware" - of wind and rain affecting southern England and Wales, with the rain warning stretching to the Midlands and Yorkshire.

Motorists were warned to "be aware and be careful".

Image copyright Chris Lamerton
Image caption A tree has come down in Plymouth

South West Trains advised customers to check before travelling, as high winds of up to 70mph were expected on its routes.

A spokesman said it would affect coastal areas, particularly Southampton, Weymouth, Salisbury and Exeter St Davids.

The spokesman added: "Trains may have to travel at lower speeds as a safety precaution which may add delays to some journeys.

"Some train services may also need to be changed due to possible flooding or debris blowing onto the track."

Other rail operators have not put warnings in place, with Virgin Trains, Southern Railway and Gatwick Express not expecting any disruption.

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