Storm warning as remains of Hurricane Gonzalo sweep in

Calm before the storm: This photograph of the morning sunrise over Calderdale was Tweeted in by Hphotos @Aaitchphotos
Calm before the storm: This photograph of the morning sunrise over Calderdale was Tweeted in by Hphotos @Aaitchphotos

Warnings of significant travel disruption and dangerous driving conditions have been issued as the remains of Hurricane Gonzalo reach Britain’s shores.

Gales of up to 70mph will hit the northern UK including Yorkshire in the wake of the storm which is due to sweep in tonight.

The worst conditions will be tomorrow morning as winds veer north-westerly after a band of heavy rain moves east.

The hurricane caused extensive damage in Bermuda and although it has weakened considerably as it heads across the Atlantic, forecasters fear it will still pack a heavy punch.

The Met Office said the strongest winds were likely to be between 60-70mph in exposed coastal areas in the north and west, with gusts of 50mph inland.

It said there could be disruption to travel and some damage to trees, with fallen leaves hampering drainage.

Further updates will be given today.

A spokesman said: “Whilst this will no longer be hurricane strength it still looks likely to bring a period of very strong winds and heavy rain to the UK with the strongest winds on Tuesday as the low pressure clears eastwards.

“With the energy in this system and the complex nature of its transition from hurricane to mid-latitude system some uncertainty remains in the track and intensity.

“However, there is the potential for some significant disruption to travel from the very strong winds on Tuesday, particularly as the strongest winds will coincide with rush-hour in places.

“Difficult driving conditions are also expected thanks to large amounts of spray on the roads and potential for wind-blown debris.”

Hurricane Gonzalo caused widespread damage and a power blackout in much of Bermuda as winds hit 110mph.

It battered the British overseas territory for several hours, downing trees and power lines although there were no deaths or serious injuries.

The Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll was approaching Bermuda to assist in the relief effort if required.

The vessel is equipped with a helicopter and a number of small boats to help with reconnaissance and transport, and is also able to assist with power generation, communication and water supplies.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Royal Navy personnel are trained to respond to situations such as this and HMS Argyll is well resourced and ready to provide assistance to the people of Bermuda.”

Maria Frith, who owns Grape Bay Cottages on Bermuda’s south coast, said the hurricane tore the patio roof off her house.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I was terrified, partly because of the noise,” she said. “It was really scary.”

Gonzalo ripped part of the roof off the island’s parliament as well as the roof of an exhibit at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.

But no catastrophic damage was reported on Bermuda, which has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world and is known for strict building codes meant to ensure homes can withstand sustained winds of at least 110 mph.

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