UK braced for transport chaos and power cuts with Storm Ciara on the way

Storm Ciara is expected to batter the UK with heavy rain and gales this weekend.

The Met Office is predicting there will be disruption to flights, trains and ferries, damage to buildings and a "good chance" of power cuts due to the conditions.

It issued a series of severe weather alerts, including an amber warning for south-east England on Sunday.

Yellow warnings have been issued for north-western parts of the UK on Saturday, followed by the whole of the UK on Sunday.

Storm Ciara was named by the Met Office on Wednesday and is moving eastwards towards the UK and Ireland.

Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said: "Storm Ciara will bring damaging winds and heavy rain across the UK this weekend and we have issued a range of severe weather warnings giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm.

"Winds will increase through Saturday across Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England and Wales, before turning very windy across the rest of UK through the early hours of Sunday morning.

"Gusts of 50-60mph are expected quite widely across inland areas, with even stronger gusts of 80mph or higher along coastal areas, especially in south-east England and northern Scotland."

'Treacherous conditions'

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous urged motorists to take "extreme care" on the roads, particularly on coastal or exposed routes.

"You have a recipe for some treacherous driving conditions," he said.

"We strongly recommend drivers reduce their speed and leave plenty of space between their vehicle and those around them, and be particular careful when passing high-sided vehicles when the potential for strong crosswinds could blow them off course."

Network Rail warned that reduced train services and speed restrictions are likely to be in place across large parts of Britain on Sunday.

Disruption could continue into Monday morning as repair work may be hampered by the conditions.

Strong winds have the potential to damage overhead electric wires and tracks due to debris or trees falling onto the railway.

Network Rail urged people living near rail lines to tie down or clear away garden furniture and trampolines.

Passengers travelling on Sunday and Monday morning are urged to check for updates before they travel.

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