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Gertrude leaves trail of chaos in her wake.

Byline: Heledd Pritchard Reporter heledd.pritchard@walesonline.co.uk

STORM Gertrude battered Wales yesterday with gusts of wind as strong as 80mph leaving roads closed, vehicles overturned and homes without power.

A yellow warning of wind and heavy downpours was in place across most parts of the country as the Met Office warned of strong gales, up to 40mm of rain and even snow across lower grounds.

Areas of North Wales were the worst affected with Capel Curig in Gwynedd hit with gusts of 81mph.

On the Llyn Peninsula in Aberdaron winds reached a strong 77mph.

The M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions for around four hours after a lorry turned on its side onto the central reservation.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a driver trapped in the vehicle's cab.

On arrival the driver had already been released and fire crews from Chepstow helped Avon and Somerset secure the lorry's load.

North Wales Police warned motorists to take extra care on the roads as branches, bins and debris were flying around in the blustery conditions.

A car collided with a fallen tree near Abercych and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue attended the scene. Another two trees fell onto a road in Colwyn Bay and Wrexham.

SP Energy Networks said it received an increasing amount of calls regarding power cuts in the Dee Valley and Clwyd areas and engineers worked on restoring the network.

Some disruptions were caused to rail services with the line between Abergele, Pensarn and Penmaenmawr and trains running between Rhyl h and Bangor delayed due to high winds.

And all Swift ferries and high speed Irish Ferries services were cancelled between Holyhead and Dublin.

During the day Natural Resources Wales issued a further three flood alerts bringing the total to nine by the afternoon.

The Met Office placed a yellow warning of ice over most areas of North Wales for the early hours of yesterday morning continuing until around 10am today.

The Chief Forecaster said temperatures were expected to fall sharply overnight allowing surfaces to freeze and while disruptions will ease as temperatures rise during the day, wintry showers are likely to continue.

Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow with snow on higher grounds and severe gales are set to return on Monday.

Elsewhere in the UK a rare red Met Office alert was put in place for Orkney and the Shetland Islands in Scotland where dangerous conditions saw winds of 100mph hit.

Incredibly, gusts reached 144mph in the Cairngorm mountains and there were nacreous clouds, which the Met Office said are usually seen in polar regions.

Around 10,000 homes in Scotland and Northern Ireland were left without power and properties were damaged and flats had to be evacuated in Clydebank when scaffolding was blown through a roof.

Many other regions had yellow and amber warnings for strong winds, heavy rain, snow and ice as the extreme weather continued to batter the British Isles.

CAPTION(S):

Waves crash over the sea wall in Blackpool, as Storm Gertrude swept the country with winds of more than 90mph Peter Byrne

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 30, 2016
Words:522
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