‘Small chance’ of risk to life, warns Met Office
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for swathes of the UK, including Northern Ireland, which is set to be battered by wind and rain before the low-pressure front sweeps into Great Britain.
The national weather service said there is a “small chance” or risk to life due to “large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties”. Three people died in the UK during Storm Arwen after being hit by falling trees.
South of the Irish border, the Gardai has warned against unnecessary travel, with Ireland’s Department of Education deciding to shut schools in the worst-affected areas on Tuesday.
Micheal Martin, Ireland’s prime minister, described the storm as “very, very severe” and told people to avoid the coast.
To the east, a Met Office yellow wind warning is in place for most of England, Scotland and Wales, while a yellow snow warning has been issued for a band of northern England and Scotland.
Although Storm Barra’s gales will not be as strong as Arwen’s, the latest storm will bring plenty of disruption, warned Aidan McGivern, a meteorologist at the Met Office.
“Storm Barra arrives on Tuesday, and although the wind impacts will be a notch lower than Arwen, it will still bring a disruptive spell of wind and in some places some disruptive hill snow,” he said.
Heading in from the west along the jet stream, it will reach central and eastern England by Tuesday afternoon, bringing with it blustery showers.
Up to 20cm of snow could fall on higher ground in northern England and southern and central Scotland, leading to “treacherous conditions” on roads at higher altitudes, according to the Met Office.
The Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings in England – all on the south coast around Bournemouth and Portsmouth – and a further 36 flood alerts.
Potential power cuts and damage to buildings follow the devastation wrought by Storm Arwen, resulting in mass power losses, some of which have still not been fixed.
On Monday, energy minister Greg Hands acknowledged that it was “completely unacceptable” that around 1,600 households still lacked power 10 days after the storm.
“I have been assured by the network operators that all efforts are focused on having power restored to those households [still without power] in the next day,” he added.
Labour accused ministers of treating people in affected areas as “second-class citizens”.
“’If this happened in London or in the southeast everything would have got thrown at it,’” Labour’s Ed Miliband quoted a Conservative councillor from northern England as saying.