Met Office keeps amber and yellow warnings in place after Storm Arwen batters UK and Liverpool

Storm Arwen has battered the UK, with wind speeds hitting close to 100 mph in parts of the country.

<p>Trees block the road in Sefton.</p>

Trees block the road in Sefton.

The Met Office has described gusts overnight as “damaging” and having affected “a wide swathe of the United Kingdom”.

Although the extremely rare red weather warning expired in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, the Met Office said that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place, with the expectation of “some very strong gusts” in many areas.

A yellow weather warning remains in place in Merseyside, although the main effects of the storm were felt overnight in the region.

Many local roads across the region were closed due to fallen trees and the M58 eastbound near Switch Island was temporarily blocked by an overturned lorry. The same issue also caused problems on the M6 near Warrington.

A car is crushed by falling tree in Liverpool. Image: @abbymwx/twitter

A number of homes in Wirral and Liverpool are without electricity and SP Energy Networks confirmed engineers are working in the affected areas but that power might not be restored until 16:00 on Saturday.

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Train services were badly disrupted, with National Rail warning on Saturday morning that trains were unable to run between Wigan Wallgate and Southport /Kirkby, and between Bolton and Blackburn, due to debris on the line.

The Liverpool Central to Southport line was running a non stop service, while the Chester line terminated at Hooton.

Replacement buses were being put in place, with travellers advised to check the National Rail website before heading off.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it had been dealing with a “large” number of incidents late on Friday “caused by the current weather conditions including many fallen trees and roofs being blown off structures”.

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The weather also hit Saturday’s Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton, with special measures taken at Anfield ahead of the 15:00 kick-off.

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These include closing retail pods around the stadium, moving the COVID-19 testing centre and the closure of external toilets. More information is available on the Liverpool FC website.

In Northern Ireland, one man died yesterday (26 November) when his car was struck by a falling tree in County Antrim, while Cumbria Police said a man from Lancaster died in Ambleside after a tree fell on him just before 23:00 on Friday.

What were the effects of Storm Arwen?

High winds, heavy rain and snowfall arriving from Friday afternoon, as the Met Office issued a rare red warning.

The Met Office said wind speeds hit 98mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland, 87mph in Orlock Head, County Down, 78mph in Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland and 77mph in Aberporth in Wales.

People were still advised to only travel if absolutely necessary.

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The Met Office described gusts overnight as “damaging” and having affected “a wide swathe of the United Kingdom”.

Many roads were closed by fallen trees and debris in the worst-hit parts of Scotland, while the M62 was closed near Rochdale with more than 120 HGVs stuck in snow.

Train services were badly disrupted, with LNER train services north of Newcastle ground to a halt.

Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas.

Friday night’s rugby union Premiership game between Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors was postponed until Saturday evening due to safety concerns.

And in North Wales, ITV was forced to pre-record Friday night’s live episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! amid concerns, including that poor weather would interfere with the broadcast around Gwrych Castle.

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Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it had been dealing with a “large” number of incidents late on Friday “caused by the current weather conditions including many fallen trees and roofs being blown off structures”.

What is the outlook for the rest of the weekend?

The Met Office warned the north-west of England, north-east of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday.

There is a yellow weather warning still in place for Merseyside.