A new weather warning has been issued as thousands are still without power following damage from Storm Eunice, which hit the country on Friday when a “rare” red alert was issued.
A number of roads remain closed due to storm damage.
Now the Met Office has issued a new ‘yellow’ weather warning for strong winds, which comes into force at noon on Sunday and lasts until 3pm on Monday.
Wind speeds approaching 100mph have been recorded and flood warnings have been put in place across Wales for the storm on Friday February 18. More details here.
Just before 11am on Friday the second Severn level crossing on the M4 was closed, meaning for the first time both level crossings were closed.
Read more: Fallen trees hit houses, crush cars, block roads, snap power lines and wreak havoc in Storm Eunice
A statement said: “For what we believe to be the first time due to high wind speeds, the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge and the M48 Severn Bridge are closed to all traffic. Traffic management teams are heading to the site to initiate the shutdown of the M4. Please do not move on site.”
Two lorries also overturned on the M4 between Margam and Port Talbot and there were several reports of downed trees and blown roofs of buildings.
A red warning indicates ‘significant danger to life’, and it covered the south coast of Wales between Swansea and Chepstow, as well as parts of south-west England. This is when red warnings have been issued in the past.
The severe alert was in place between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Friday February 18, with an orange alert continuing after that time.
Almost all schools in Wales were closed and all train services in Wales were also suspended on Friday due to the storm and there were no alternative services for the same reason.
The UK government held an emergency Cobra meeting on Thursday to discuss the storm with Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, saying: ‘We are working closely with national agencies, local authorities and emergency services to prepare. to the impending storm Eunice.
“A red warning has been issued for much of South Wales from 7am on Friday meaning life is at risk. Orange warnings will be in place from Friday morning for the rest of the country.”
Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said ahead of the red warning period: “Following the impacts of Storm Dudley for many on Wednesday, Storm Eunice will bring damaging gusts to what could be one of the storms the most impactful to affect the southern and central parts of the UK for a few years.
“The red warning zone indicates a significant danger to life, as extremely strong winds can damage structures and flying debris. Although the more exposed southern and western coastal areas can experience gusts greater than 90 mph, winds will remain particularly strong further inland, with gusts between 70 and 80 mph mostly in the orange warning zone.
The Met Office had already issued an amber warning covering the whole of Wales from 3am to 9pm on Friday, anticipating ‘very strong and disruptive’ winds for parts of the UK indicating a ‘good chance’ of power outages and disruption of transport services.
Storm Eunice hit less than 48 hours after Storm Dudley, which saw a yellow wind warning in place covering all of northern and central England, most of Wales and southern and central Scotland. A yellow wind warning was also announced for much of South Wales on Saturday.
Wales saw the highest recorded winds from Storm Dudley, reaching 81mph at Capel Curig.
Traffic Wales has advised to travel only if necessary during the red alert and to expect severe disruption to roads and railways.
On Saturday evening, Western Power Distribution admitted that Storm Eunice brought “some of the worst conditions it has ever seen”.
The electricity distribution company revealed that in South Wales there were still 13,092 customers without power on Saturday evening. It has so far restored supply to 88,966 customers.
In the South West region, there were “the highest number of power cuts ever”, with efforts underway to restore supply to 44,623 customers.
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