Strong winds: Woman killed and ferry travel disrupted

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Huge waves batter the breakwater in Lyme Regis harbour in Dorset

A woman has been killed by a falling tree which came down on her car amid high winds.

The woman, who was in her 60s but has not been named, was driving near Verwood, Dorset, at about 08:40 GMT, police said.

Winds exceeding speeds of 80mph have caused damage to property and transport disruption across parts of the UK.

All passenger services into and out of Dover were suspended for several hours because of high winds.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for wind along the South East and East coast of England.

Ferry operators DFDS and P&O halted all their sailing operations at about 13:00 GMT due to high water and 60 knot winds.

The first ship back into Dover was the P&O passenger ferry Spirit of Britain, which managed to dock at 17:30 GMT but soon after the company tweeted there were still "severe sailing limitations".

It later described the limitations as "slight" and listed delays to services in and out of Dover. DFDS also reported delays and advised passengers to check in as normal.

Image source, Dorset Police
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Several cars were damaged when winds ripped scaffolding into a road

Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries also cancelled some of their sailings from Portsmouth and Poole - passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Hovertravel services between Southsea and Ryde have been stopped and Wightlink and Red Funnel ferry routes also face disruption.

Cars have been damaged in a street in Dorset after scaffolding collapsed in strong winds.

The structure was blown over in Dorset Street, Blandford Forum, during the early hours, closing the road.

Image source, Karen Churchill‎
Image caption,
The shed ended up in the road on its roof

Also in Dorset a shed was blown off its base into a road. The large shed ended up on its roof on the A351 Valley Road, Harmans Cross in Swanage.

In Cornwall a landslide has left a road blocked.

Castle Road, Bodmin, has been cordoned off after banks at the side of the road collapsed earlier.

Image source, Toni Smith
Image caption,
Police have cordoned off Castle Road, Bodmin following the collapse

The National Coastwatch Institution at The Needles on the Isle of Wight said winds of 109.4mph had been recorded.

It said the station had been shut and plans to "safely evacuate the watch-keeping team" were under way.

The Met Office said winds of 83mph were recorded in Plymouth and 82mph in Culdrose in Cornwall.

It has advised those attending or organising bonfire events to be mindful of the strength of the wind before setting off fireworks.

Image source, Met Office
Image caption,
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind along the South East and East coast

Flood warnings were also issued by the Environment Agency for Preston Beach in Weymouth and Chiswell, West Bay, Lyme Regis and Christchurch.

The agency also issued 22 flood alerts for rivers across Devon.

In West Bay, Dorset, strong winds ripped the roof off a seafront kiosk.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said the seafront had now been closed "in case any further part of the structure should fail".

Image source, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service
Image caption,
The seafront at West Bay was closed after a roof came off a kiosk

Western Power Distribution said more than 1,500 properties in Somerset and 3,700 properties across Devon and Cornwall were without power after high winds caused faults.

On the south coast, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said more than 3,000 homes and businesses, including parts of the New Forest and the Isle of Wight, were suffering power cuts.

The companies said engineers were working to restore supplies as soon as possible.

Image caption,
A large tree on Hove Recreation Ground in Sussex has been brought down

South Western Railway said services between Brockenhurst, Hampshire, and Weymouth had been cancelled or delayed due to fallen trees on the line.

Southern Railway said high winds were having an impact across the network, with a reduced service running on the Brighton mainline due to a "National Grid power blip".

Southeastern has reported delays and cancellations due to trees on the line at Paddock Wood, Deal and Whitstable.

There is also severe disruption to Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink services.

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Image caption,
The tree hit the bonnet of the car in The Avenue, Southampton

High winds have closed the pier in Bournemouth, where staff from the RockReef indoor activity had to be escorted to safety.

In Southampton, one driver escaped when a tree fell on to the bonnet of his car shortly before 09:30 GMT.

In Suffolk, strong winds have closed the Orwell Bridge. It is shut from junctions 56 to 57. Diversions are in place via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich.

In Wales, roads have been closed and rail services affected with two weather warnings in place.

A yellow warning for heavy rain covers 17 of Wales' 22 counties, with Gwynedd the only area of north Wales partially affected.

A separate wind warning runs until 18:00 and covers all southern counties.

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