Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

'Damage' predicted in Isle of Man red weather warning

Douglas Image copyright Kristian Edwards
Image caption Many drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles in Douglas on Thursday after heavy rain caused flooding across the Isle of Man

Storm force winds and heavy rain could cause "structural damage and further flooding" on the Isle of Man, the Met Office has warned.

Weather experts at Ronaldsway Airport issued a red weather warning ahead of severe gales which are expected to reach speeds of up to 70mph.

A spokesman said it could bring down trees and damage infrastructure.

Emergency services have advised people not to make any non-essential journeys on Friday or Saturday.

Ferry services between Douglas and Heysham, Lancashire have been cancelled.

An Isle of Man Steam Packet Company spokesman said the Friday evening sailing from Douglas, due to leave for Heysham at 19:45 GMT, is "subject to disruption", as are all sailings on Saturday.

The peak of the storm is expected to hit the island on Saturday afternoon when gusts of up to 85mph are possible.

Coastal areas across the island could be vulnerable to flooding, particularly during the high tides on Friday at 17:45 GMT and again on Saturday at 06:52 and 18:53.

The warning follows Thursday's heavy rain which caused flooding across the island.

Image caption The bridge in Lower Laxey collapsed and fell into the river below - no-one was injured

A driver had a narrow escape when his bus fell into the river after rain caused the Old Laxey Bridge to collapse.

Police said the emergency services dealt with 1,225 calls and 177 emergency 999 calls between 14:00 GMT on Thursday and 06:00 on Friday.

Infrastructure staff are currently working to clear the Mountain Road which was closed on Thursday after a land slide that deposited 750 tonnes of debris onto the highway.

Sandbags have been distributed to numerous locations around the island and can be collected from civic amenity sites and department of infrastructure depot in Crosby.

Ferry passengers are asked to contact the ferry company directly for the latest information on sailings.

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