High wind warnings extended as Storm Georgina arrives


High wind warnings have been extended as Storm Georgina batters the UK with gusts of up to 90mph possible.

Many ferry services have been cancelled while flooding has disrupted road and rail travel.

Met Office yellow "be aware" warnings for high winds across northern Scotland have been extended to 5pm.

A gust of 85mph was recorded on South Uist on Wednesday morning while there were 75mph gusts at The Needles on the Isle of Wight and Anglesey off Wales.

Forecasters said  gusts of 70 to 80mph are likely in northern and western parts of the Highlands and could even reach 90mph around the Western Isles.

Northern Ireland has been removed from the warning area as the strongest winds have now cleared while yellow warnings of heavy rain which were issued for northern England, Yorkshire and the Humber expired at 11am.

Flooding has also caused problems, particularly in southern Scotland with the Whitesands in Dumfries closed to vehicles due to the River Nith flooding.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued 32 flood warnings, the majority of them in the Borders and Tayside.

Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf urged people to check with transport providers before travelling.

He tweeted: "With high winds and persistent rain fall it has been a difficult morning in some parts of the country."

The A76 was closed near Kirkconnel due to a landslide, while train services were disrupted due to heavy rain flooding the railway between Linlithgow and Haymarket in Edinburgh.

Some Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services have been cancelled due to the weather while Argyll Ferries said that due to high winds, sailings on the Gourock to Dunoon route may be liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice.

Met Office spokesman Alex Burkill said: "Storm Georgina has arrived meaning it's very windy across much of the UK especially in Scotland.

"We could see gusts of 60, 70mph and up to 80mph and could even get up to around 90mph around the western isles."