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Storm Aileen: Torrential rain and winds leave thousands without power and cause nationwide commuter delays

Torrential rain and strong winds have left thousands without power as Storm Aileen hits the UK. 

Northern Powergrid – which covers the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – said 7,400 homes lost power overnight and that it was still working to restore electricity to 800 customers.

Electricity North West said 1,067 homes had been affected and 256 houses in Buxton, Macclesfield and Leigh are still cut off.

Storm Aileen registered peak winds of 83mph at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, while Mumbles in Wales recorded a top speed of 74mph.

Heavy rain also fell across the country overnight, with Bainbridge in North Yorkshire seeing 35.4mm and Walney Island in Cumbria recording 27.8mm.

Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples described the weather as “unusual”. 

“That’s quite a high total, especially in September,” Ms Sharples said. 

“The wind speeds as well – it’s probably a bit unusual to get that sort of strength of winds at this time of the year. You’d normally expect that in October or November.”

Commuters in north Wales, southern parts of northern England, the north Midlands and Norfolk have been urged to take extra care and there have been significant disruptions. 

The M48 Severn Crossing in south Gloucestershire and the Ouse Bridge on the M62 in East Yorkshire were closed due to high winds but have since reopened.

Those travelling by train have also faced issues during their journeys, with speed restrictions put in place across the country.

Network Rail said some railway lines in the south of England and Midlands would face disruption due to “fallen trees and large branches” on the tracks. 

Speed restrictions have been put in place between Eastleigh and Weymouth and between Petersfield and Portsmouth, as well as between Welwyn Garden City and Arlesey.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Railway lines in areas affected by the worst weather may suffer disruption caused by falling trees and large branches, power cuts and debris being blown onto the track.”

The Met Office placed an amber weather warning for wind until 6am on 13 September, which has now been downgraded to a yellow warning.

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. 

As Storm Aileen clears out eastwards into the North Sea, the UK will be left with cool, showery conditions by the end of the week and into the weekend, the forecasters said.

Agencies contributed to this report 

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