Storm Otto: Thousands of homes without power as food vans dispatched

Thousands of homes could be without power over the weekend as food vans were dispatched to the worst-hit areas in the wake of Storm Otto.

A yellow warning for snow and ice was in place for central parts of Scotland until 9am on Saturday, while the Met Office expected the heaviest rainfall by 7am to be around Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend County Borough in south Wales – between four and eight millimetres.

Gusts of 75-80mph were recorded across parts of northern Scotland on Friday while trains and flights were cancelled and roads blocked by overturned lorries in northern England.

More than 40,000 properties were left without power in Scotland, with around 7,600 still cut off as of 9pm on Friday.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said it expected its teams to continue to make significant progress in restoring power to customers into Friday evening, but warned some customers in rural areas may be off supply for more than 48 hours.

Storm Otto
A Porsche 911 car was damaged by a fallen tree in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, as a result of Storm Otto (Danny Lawson/PA)

SSEN said it has sent food vans to the main areas still cut off from supply, and they will serve food and drink from 8am on Saturday.

In England, Northern Powergrid said around 21,000 customers lost power, with 92 still affected as of 9.15pm on Friday.

The Met Office has said that Scotland will see heavier rain heading north-east overnight and into Saturday morning, with snow on the hills north of the central belt.

However, the weather will be mild across southern and central areas of the UK.

Heading into Saturday, the rain and snow in Scotland is expected to ease, with sunny spells further south in the afternoon.

On Friday morning, a man was taken to hospital in a serious condition after a tree fell on a street in Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Police officers were called to Endcliffe Vale Road at 8.50am.

A spokesperson said: “A man in his 50s was injured and was taken to hospital in serious condition. A property nearby was also damaged and structural engineers are at the scene.”

A tree toppled on to a Porsche on Granby Road in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, causing anxiety for drivers in the area.

Charlie Lowe, a 29-year-old cake business owner, photographed the crushed Porsche on her way to work, telling the PA news agency: “I felt shocked and I think it’s nerve-wracking.

“I felt a bit nervous driving around Harrogate as a result.”

The storm, the first to be named this winter, was labelled Otto by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

It is the first named storm to directly affect the UK this storm-naming season, which began in September.

The first storm to be named by the Met Office, or the Irish and Dutch weather services, this season will still be Storm Antoni, in accordance with the 2022/23 storm name list.