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Thousands left without power as Storm Callum sweeps UK and Ireland

A man watches the waves at Blackrock swimming point in Salthill, Co Galway during Storm Callum. Credit: PA

Thousands of households have been left without power and dozens of flights grounded after Storm Callum hit the UK and Ireland in the early hours of this morning.

Winds of more than 70mph have buffeted the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the west coast of Britain along with torrential rain.

The highest winds of the morning were 77mph recorded at 7am at Capel Curig in Gwynedd, north Wales, with 76mph gusts in the Scilly Isles and 64mph at RNAS Culdrose, in Cornwall.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning risk to life for South Wales due to heavy rain, while the rest of the west coast is under a yellow wind warning for Friday and Saturday.

Western Power Distribution said more than 950 homes have been left without electricity in south-west England and nearly 100 were without power in south Wales. In Ireland, which has borne the brunt of the storm, more than 30,000 homes and businesses were left without power.

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.

Network operator ESB reported multiple faults across the Irish Republic on Friday morning, with counties Cork, Kerry and Donegal among the worst hit.

A man is splashed in Co Galway. Credit: PA

The forecast deluge poses a risk of communities being cut off by flooding, while widespread gales are expected to cause disruption across western areas of the UK.

The Met Office has issued a series of weather warnings stretching from the north-west coast of Scotland to Land’s End, including Northern Ireland, while a number of flood warnings and alerts are in force across south-west England and south Wales.

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

"We are also starting to see the rain push in to parts of south-west England and part of the Republic of Ireland," Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkhill said.

A jogger is caught by the spray on Salthill promenade, Co Galway. Credit: PA

"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, Burkhill added.

"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."

The amber warning remains in place until 6pm on Saturday, while the broader yellow rain and wind warnings that include parts of north-west and south-west England, western Scotland and Northern Ireland will remain in place until midnight on Friday.

People avoid the waves on Salthill promenade, Co Galway during Storm Callum. Credit: PA

Whitchurch in Pembrokeshire saw 15mm of rain fall in a matter of hours on Friday morning as Michael moved in.

Rainfall totals could reach as high as 150mm over the Brecon Beacons, nearly as high as the monthly average of 170mm for Wales.

The high winds, combined with heavy rain, could see leaves and twigs blocking drains, making flooding more likely, Mr Burkhill said.

Windsor, the scene of Friday’s royal wedding, looks set to escape the worst of the storm.

The South East is expected to be blustery but stay “quite dry”, with temperatures possibly reaching up to 24C (75F).