Wet and windy weather to follow record power outages caused by Storm Eunice

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind which could cause further power cuts, transport delays and damage to properties.

20 February 2022

More wet and windy weather is set to sweep the UK on Sunday after Storm Eunice caused what providers believe was the biggest national power outage on record.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind which could cause further power cuts, transport delays and damage to properties.

Sunday’s warnings cover Wales and most of England from midday until 3pm, and the North West and Northern Ireland from midday until midnight.

Identical wind warnings have been issued for Monday.

A yellow warning for rain, meaning “there is a chance that homes and businesses could be flooded”, is also in place for Cumbria, Lancashire and West Yorkshire from midnight until 6pm on Sunday.

Some 155,000 people are still without power, and the Energy Networks Association said it believes the UK may have experienced a record outage over a 24-hour period on Friday, with around 1.3 million homes affected.

Winter weather Feb 19th 2022
People observe flood water in heavy snow in York city centre (Danny Lawson/PA)

Electricity provider Western Power Distribution (WPD) confirmed the outage was the most widespread ever recorded for the south west of England.

The company said: “Since it first hit, Storm Eunice has officially caused the highest number of power cuts in a 24 hour period our South West region has ever experienced.

“Our engineers are continuing to work relentlessly to restore supplies to our customers despite the awful conditions.”

At the height of the storm, the roof of the O2 Arena in London was damaged – causing rapper Dave’s upcoming concerts to be postponed – and the spire of St Thomas Church in Wells, Somerset, crashed to the ground.

Saturday evening was relatively calm, after northern England faced blizzard-like weather through the day and people on the south coast braced gale-force winds.

But forecasters have warned Sunday could see gales of up to 70mph in some parts of England, which is the same speed recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday when thousands watched planes struggling to land on YouTube channel Big Jet TV.

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst urged Britons to brace for more windy weather.

Speaking on Saturday, he added: “We will see a slight easing in the wind over the evening time tonight, but it’s not long before they pick up again tomorrow to lead to another windy day across the UK.

“This will have an impact on the clearing up process over the course of the day.”

Winter weather Feb 19th 2022
Pedestrians clad in ponchos brave heavy snow in York (Danny Lawson/PA)

The Association of British Insurers indicated that the clean-up could cost more than £300 million.

A spokesman said: “It is too early to estimate the likely insured cost of Storm Eunice, when insurers will be focusing on assessing damage and helping their customers recover.

“No two storms are the same. The last significant storms to hit the UK – Ciara and Dennis – led to insurers paying out over £360 million.”

National Rail has warned there is still “major disruption” to train services “across most of Great Britain”.

At least four people were killed amid the severe conditions in the UK and Ireland on Friday, and a 79-year-old British man died in Ypres, Belgium, after his boat was blown into a waterway amid high winds, according to local reports.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.