Trains axed and power cuts for thousands in storm

Overturned lorry
Image caption,A lorry blew over on the A388 near Launceston

Heavy rain and wind have caused train cancellations, power outages and blocked roads around the south-west of England.

Storm Henk hit the region with the strongest gust of 80mph (129km/h) at Exeter Airport, making it the windiest day in the region since 1990, said BBC SW senior meteorologist David Braine.

More than 5,200 households were without power in Devon and more than 1,700 households were without power in Cornwall, said the National Grid., external

The Met Office has issued a yellow rain warning , externalfor Devon and Cornwall until 21:00 GMT, along with an amber wind warning until 20:00 in some parts of the region.

Okehampton station
Image caption,The roof of a pedestrian bridge at Okehampton’s railway station was blown off

Train operator GWR said services had been cancelled or delayed, external between Totnes and Plymouth, and between Crediton and Okehampton, because of flooding.

It asked passengers to check before travelling.

The roof of a pedestrian bridge was blown onto the track at Okehampton’s railway station, leading to the closure of the line, said GWR.

A lane heading eastbound on the A30 near Okehampton was closed by flooding, and was likely to stay closed “for the next few days”, National Highways said.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the A388 near Launceston was closed after a lorry overturned due to high winds.

The A35 in Devon was temporarily closed in both directions between the A375, near Honiton, and the A358, near Axminster, after a tree fell onto the road, said National Highways.

Image caption,Waves crashing over the harbour wall at Mousehole in Cornwall

‘Flying debris’

Devon County Council said a section of Queens Drive, Exmouth, had been closed “due to flying building debris”.

Flood warnings, where flooding is expected, have been issued by the Environment Agency for the River Exe, Upper River Axe, Lower River Torridge and around Kingsbridge, alongside 20 flood alerts for Devon.

Rivers in Cornwall susceptible to flooding include the Tamar, the Lynher, the Cober, Helford and Fal Rivers.

Recycling centres at Ivybridge, Knowle Hill in Exmouth, Seven Brethren in Barnstaple, Okehampton, Punchbowl in Crediton, Exton Road in Exeter and in Sidmouth have been closed due to strong winds, said Devon County Council., external

A number of rubbish collections have been cancelled in Cornwall, said the county council, external.

Analysis: David Braine, BBC SW senior meteorologist

Storm Henk is the eighth named storm of the season, making this one of the most active seasons for several years for deep areas of low pressure.

Not only has the storm brought some intense rainfall, but also some exceptional gusts of wind.

Exeter Airport recorded a gust earlier today of 80mph (130km/h), making it the windiest day here since the Burns Night storm of 1990.

Other locations which have seen very strong gusts have included Newquay 74mph (120km/h), Bodmin 68mph (110km/h) and Portland 71mph (114km/h).

Rainfall for the last seven days has been very high, prompting multiple flood warnings across the South West.

Average rainfall for December is between 5.1in and 5.9in (130-150mm) of rain. Bodmin has had 3.1in (81mm) in the last seven days, Liscombe 4in (100mm), Okehampton more than 4.3in (110mm).

The good news is that drier colder and calmer weather will reach us by the weekend.

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