Storm Aileen Hits Britain With 75mph Winds

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Commuters are being warned to brace for rush hour chaos and thousands have been left without power as Storm Aileen batters the UK.

The first named storm of the year lashed the country overnight bringing gale force winds of up to 75mph, flying debris and overflowing rivers leading to dozens of flood alerts.

Weather forecasters have advised battening down the hatches as rainstorms tear across Britain today with one council even advising people not go out unless absolutely necessary.

Drivers are being warned to avoid some 53 exposed sections of road this morning, with falling trees and overturned lorries and caravans closing several major motorways.

While people across the Atlantic are suffering the devastating blow of Hurricane Irma, the Met Office says Storm Aileen bears no connection.

The Met Office said there was no connection between the high winds the UK is expected to see and the severe weather battering the Caribbean and the US, with the UK’s weather system originating north in the Atlantic, independent of the current hurricanes across the ocean.

Highways England has urged drivers to take extra care on their journeys to work, warning that people should delay travelling if the weather becomes too severe.

Those driving caravans, lorries and motorbikes are at risk of the vehicles being blown over.

Police forces in Staffordshire, Cheshire and Gloucestershire have all reported trees being blown over by the winds overnight.

Meanwhile, power companies are reporting power cuts overnight, affecting huge swathes of the country.

More than 800 homes were without power in Nottinghamshire, while 700 homes were affected in Lincolnshire.

Parts of Wales and the South West also reported power cuts.

People across the country took to social media overnight to complain that the strong winds were leading to sleepless nights.

The Met Office issued an amber severe weather warning for gusts of 55-65mph in parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

The Environment Agency has issued some 16 separate flood alerts as rivers are expected to burst their banks from the heavy rainfall.

Flood warnings are in place for for Keswick, Lancashire and Porlock Weir in Somerset.

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