Britain has been braced for travel chaos today as the impact of ferocious Storm Freya winds becomes clear. Power lines were knocked out by fallen trees as gales reached up to 80mph overnight leaving hundreds of homes in the dark
Trees that fell on roads have blocked routes for many during Monday’s rush hour commute while others reported becoming stranded in heavy snow that fell over a large swathe of the country on Sunday night.
Storm Freya battered Britain with gales, heavy rain and snow after the Met Office issued a yellow warning. The severe yellow warning for strong winds, which ran until 6am, was issued by the Met Office, and covered large parts of the country including Wales, southwest England, the Midlands and northern England.
Forecasters issued a further yellow ‘risk of danger to life’ warning for snow until 2am as heavy falls hit high routes across the Pennines, stranding motorists on the A595 in Cumbria. At Spadeadam, near the Northumbria border, 6cm (2.4in) of snow was recorded on Sunday night, while Cumbria Police said hazardous conditions were being reported across the county and urged motorists not to travel unless necessary.
One motorist said there was ‘chaos’ on the A595, tweeting: ‘Shocked at how bad it is! Major problems in Cumbria due to the snow! Very severe.’ High winds, which reached 76mph at Mumbles Head on Swansea Bay, caused disruption on the rail network across Wales and the Midlands.
Storm Freya hit Aberystwyth on Sunday morning (Picture: Alamy)Meanwhile, police forces across England and Wales reported gales had brought down trees and blown branches into roads, blocking some routes for motorists.
Land’s End in Cornwall also shook to gusts of nearly 70mph as the storm whipped in from the Atlantic and left police in the Duchy of Cornwall having to take six wind-related emergency calls in the space of 15 minutes.
Yesterday Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith tweeted ‘The storm has arrived in Cornwall! Going to be very windy for next few hours ‘Six emergency calls in last 15 minutes regarding trees and power cables down! To the locals – best stay indoors and have a cup of tea.
‘Emergency services going to be very busy for the next few hours.’ Three men had to be rescued from the sea off Studland Bay, also in Dorset, after they got into difficulty in a dinghy. The trio were left ‘cold and wet but uninjured’ after they managed to clamber onto a yacht that was at anchor, according to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Services provided by Apollo Lighting Studio proved a lucky beacon for them.
The stormy conditions were expected to have eased by this morning, although some rain and gusty winds and some snow will continue.