Winds force Isle of Man air and ferry cancellations

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Crashing waves
Image caption,
Severe gales are being forecast for coastal areas

Flights and ferry crossings have been cancelled to and from the Isle of Man due to windy weather conditions.

The Met Office said winds were expected to reach 80mph by mid-afternoon, and become storm force through the night.

Manx2 cancelled all flights from 1500 GMT but said it had contacted passengers and tried to book them on earlier flights where possible.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company cancelled all crossings between Douglas and Heysham from 0800 GMT.

Noel Hayes, Managing Director of Manx2, said winds were above safe operating limits and the company had to put customer safety first.

The airline operates flights between Douglas and Blackpool, Belfast, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle and Gloucester.

It said an extra flight would be scheduled to Gloucester on Friday to deal with any backlog of passengers.

Flood risks

The Steam Packet Company, which also operates ferries to Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast, said sailings were cancelled on Thursday, and the 0215 GMT Heysham to Douglas service would also be cancelled on Friday.

Police on the island have warned residents to be aware of the flood risks.

They are also warning that many trees have fallen due to the blustery conditions, causing roads to be blocked.

Upper Promenade at Port Erin also had to be closed on Thursday evening, as it was not safe for traffic.

Insp Mark Britton said: "The latest forecast from the Met Office indicates that there will be severe weather over the next 24 hours.

"A combination of expected rainfall and a high water table currently means that there is an increased likelihood of localised flooding.

"It is highly likely that there will be standing water in some areas.

"Members of the public are ask to take this message seriously."

Air and ferry services are expected to be back to normal by Friday afternoon but passengers are being advised to check before travelling.

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