Storm Callum batters Britain with galeforce winds and heavy rain

Storm Callum has begun to batter parts of the UK with winds up to 76mph and torrential rain, leaving more than 1,000 homes without power or electricity.

The Isles of Scilly recorded the most ferocious winds, as the third named storm of the season passed through south-west England, Wales and north-west England, while 60mph gales were recorded in Camborne in Cornwall and Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.

The strong wind and torrential rain has prompted warnings of flooding and travel disruption across the UK. The Met Office issued a 36-hour amber warning for much of south Wales, noting the heavy rainfall could present a risk to life. Yellow weather warnings, which will remain in place until midnight on Friday, have been issued for the rest of Wales and large parts of northern England and southern Scotland.

Western Power Distribution said more than 950 homes had been left without electricity in south-west England and nearly 100 were without power in south Wales. In Northern Ireland, hundreds of homes and businesses experienced power loss.

Some flights were cancelled at Cardiff and Exeter airports on Friday morning, while rail passengers in Wales and the south-west of England were warned of disruption to services due to high winds.

Cheshire police said it had received “quite a few” weather-related calls on Friday morning, while the Isle of Man police warned motorists of windy and rainy conditions causing problems on the roads.

The Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkhill said: “We’ve got a wind warning which covers all the western side of the UK. That in itself is likely to bring disruption to roads and there is likely to be some bridge closures and power outages.

“We also have yellow and amber warnings of between 50mm and 150mm of rain for Wales. That’s quite a substantial amount of rain to come and could bring flooding.”

Sioned Warrell, Natural Resources Wales’ duty tactical manager, said: “The forecast rain could cause flooding this week, especially in south and west Wales, and we are urging people to prepare themselves.”

Warrell added: “Our teams are doing all they can to reduce the risk for communities, but if there is flooding we want to make sure people are doing all they can to keep themselves safe.”

Windsor, scene of Friday’s royal wedding, looks likely to miss the worst of the storm. The south-east of England is expected to stay mainly dry, bright, warm and windy, with temperatures possibly reaching up to 24C (75F).

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