Storm Barra: Severe weather warnings for wind and snow as thousands remain without power

·4-min read

A new storm is set to batter the UK as thousands of people are still without power in the wake of Storm Arwen, the Met Office has warned.

Forecasters have issued severe weather warnings for wind and snow ahead of Storm Barra, the second named storm of the season, reaching Britain on Tuesday.

The Republic of Ireland will bear the brunt of the storm’s force, the Met Office said. As it weakens, Barra will bring strong winds and rain with the rain turning to snow across northern England and Scotland.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow on Tuesday, covering most parts of Scotland and stretching down to Manchester.

Two yellow warnings for wind have also been put in place that day, which covers all of England and Wales and some of Scotland.

It comes as about 4,700 homes across northern England and Scotland are still without supply following Storm Arwen, more than a week after the storm hit on November 26, according to industry body the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

Frank Saunders, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Strong winds arriving across the west through Tuesday morning will spread inland and reach eastern areas through the afternoon and early evening.

“Gusts of 45-50 mph are expected widely, with 60-70 mph in exposed coastal locations. The strongest winds will ease across inland areas into the overnight period.”

Deputy chief meteorologist, Brent Walker, added: “A band of rain will turn to snow across northern England and Scotland through Tuesday.

“Two to five cm of snow is expected to accumulate quite widely across the warning area, but locally this could reach 10cm, particularly in parts of the southern uplands and Highlands.”

He added: “Strong southeasterly winds will also lead to snow drifting in places, particularly over the highest routes, adding to poor visibilities.”

On Saturday, Boris Johnson said he said he has held calls with those leading the response to Storm Arwen, adding he remains “concerned” that thousands of households still do not have power.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said the Government is ready to further support the recovery work “in any way we can”.

A fallen tree in New York in North Tyneside after Storm Arwen wreaked havoc (Owen Humphreys/PA)
A fallen tree in New York in North Tyneside after Storm Arwen wreaked havoc (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The Met Office has also issued yellow weather warnings for rain in parts of the northeast of England and a yellow warning for snow for parts of the southeast of Scotland.

The long delays have prompted energy regulator Ofgem to warn it will take enforcement action against network companies which failed to restore power to customers quickly enough following the storm.

It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on compensation which could be given to customers.

The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they are left without power, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours.

Chief executive Jonathan Brearley told BBC Radio 4: “We are deeply concerned about customers who for over a week have been without power.

Royal Marines of 45 Command check on vulnerable people (PA)
Royal Marines of 45 Command check on vulnerable people (PA)

“We want to establish the facts and make sure we understand what has happened, whether the network companies have met their obligations. If they haven’t, we will take enforcement action.

“We have clear expectations of how fast they should get people back on the system.

“We do recognise the challenging circumstances those companies are in. But what we expect from the network companies is to be relentless in connecting people, but also to be putting support in place.”

He later told BBC Breakfast: “One thing we’ve done already is we’ve said to network companies, and they’ve agreed, they’ve lifted the cap on the compensation they will give customers and they’ll make sure that those customers do get some compensation for everything they’ve been through.”

The Ministry of Defence said 297 personnel from the British Army and Royal Marines are supporting civil authorities and are conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people in their homes and providing reassurance to local communities.

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