Terrifying footage of planes across UK airports struggling to land or take off because of the strong winds brought by Storm Ciara have emerged online. Met Office weather warnings are in force, with gusts of more than 80 miles per hour battering parts of the country as forecasters warned flying debris could lead to injuries or endanger lives.
Heathrow Airport said it had agreed with its airline partners to “consolidate” Sunday’s flight schedule in a bid to minimise the number of cancelled flights.
British Airways said in a statement: “Like all airlines operating into and out of the UK tomorrow, we are expecting to be impacted by the adverse weather conditions across parts of the UK on Sunday.”
The airline said it was offering rebooking options for customers on domestic and European flights flying to and from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City on Sunday.
Virgin Atlantic has posted a list of cancelled flights on its website. It said it was “contacting affected customers and rearranging their travel arrangements”.
Three people were injured after part of a pub roof collapsed in Perth on Saturday evening and Bedfordshire police said emergency services were called to Flitwick on Sunday after a tree fell onto a car.
Dozens of domestic and international flights have been cancelled, while rail companies in England, Scotland and Wales have urged passengers not to travel and say they will operate reduced timetables and speed restrictions on Sunday.
Drivers were warned they face treacherous conditions with reports of fallen trees and other debris blocking roads, while firefighters in Blackpool had to rescue a motorist whose car got stuck in deep floodwater.
The Queen did not attend church in Sandringham due to high winds in the area.
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Storm Ciara also disrupted Sunday’s sporting programme, as horse racing, rugby union, rugby league and football fixtures, including the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham in Manchester, were all postponed.
A trampoline blown onto train tracks in Chelsfield, south London, disrupted rail services from the South East into the capital.
And a North Wales Twitter user shared footage of rough seas flooding roads and bringing water to his front door on Tremadoc Bay in Criccieth, Gwynedd.
“This is quite an exceptional storm and I haven’t seen wind this strong for quite a few years,” 58-year-old company director Gethin Jones told the PA news agency.
Gusts of 86 miles per hour were recorded in Capel Curig, in North Wales, at midnight, while the Isle of White saw 81mph winds on Sunday morning, while Cumbria saw 151.8mm of rain in 24 hours.
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Met Office meteorologist Helen Roberts said “quite exceptional” gusts of between 60 and 70mph would be seen in inland areas, with the worst of the weather likely to hit before 6pm, although warnings are in place until 9pm.
“As well as the strength of the wind there is the rain to come today,” she said.
“So far, we have seen some impact from the rain, which has been heavy and persistent across Northern Ireland and northern England in the last 24 hours.
“It is likely we will see further impact from the wind such as falling debris, roof tiles coming off, branches and trees down, with disruption to travel as well.”