Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Storm Doris: Woman killed by falling debris

A woman has been killed after being struck by a piece of debris "the size of a coffee table" as high winds from Storm Doris battered the country.

The 29-year-old victim was hit outside a Starbucks in Wolverhampton city centre shortly before 11.45am.

Witness Rebecca Davis said the woman appeared to have been hit by a piece of roof the "size of a coffee table" from a nearby building in Dudley Street, in the city centre.

  • For the latest travel advice, scroll to the bottom of this article
Emergency services have cleared the area close to the Starbucks branch after the woman's death. Credit: ITV News

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the woman had suffered "very serious head injuries" - and said they had been unable to save her.

West Midlands Police have since confirmed the woman was "struck" by "wooden debris from a nearby building" and said they are now working with Wolverhampton Council to establish how it came loose.

A force spokeswoman added: "The area remains cordoned off while investigations are ongoing. The lady's family have been informed and are being supported at this tragic time."

Debris was seen scattered on the pavement between police tape at the scene. Credit: ITV News

A spokesperson for Starbucks said staff were "shocked and saddened" by the tragedy.

"We are supporting the police with their investigation and our store will remain closed until further notice," they added.

Doris has reached speeds of 94mph and brought down power cables and trees since hitting the mainland at around 6am this morning.

A tree which fell down in a residential street in Liverpool. Credit: Chris Hine/ITV Anglia

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

The Met Office upgraded the storm to a "weather bomb" - this is when a storm rapidly deepens in the space of 24 hours.

Flights were cancelled and commuters faced travel chaos as Doris battered the UK.

In Ireland almost 46,000 households were left without electricity after violent gusts battered large parts of the country overnight.

A jack-knifed car transporter on the M80 near Falkirk. Credit: PA

Aer Lingus said it had cancelled flights between the UK and Ireland, while Heathrow advised customers to check flights before travelling.

Network Rail said 50mph limits were expected on services across the country.

While winds which caused trees and debris to fall on the line and overhead cables to come down caused cancellations and delays.

Passengers at St Albans station where overhead cable damage caused delays and cancellations. Credit: ITV News

An 87mph gust was recorded at Mace Head on the Galway coast in the Republic of Ireland in the early hours as Doris made its way east.

Meanwhile, a 79mph gust was felt in Gwynedd, North Wales at around 8am.

Drivers were "strongly advised" to avoid travelling on some stretches of road in Yorkshire, the Midlands, and the East and North West.

Waves crash over the marina in Brighton this morning. Credit: PA

Particularly at risk are high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes.

Storm Doris is expected to move on quickly, with the worst of the weather gone by Thursday evening.

While further Atlantic gusts will bring more rain and wind through the weekend and into next week, they are not expected to reach the heights of Doris.

Traffic on the M9 near Falkirk during morning snowfall. Credit: PA
  • Amber weather warnings

Amber warnings predict strong winds and heavy rain in parts of north Wales, the Midlands, and the East and North West, while winds as fast as 60mph are also expected to batter southern England.

Meanwhile, up to 15cm of snow could fall across parts of Scotland and north-east England in treacherous, blizzard-like conditions.

Weather warnings have been upgraded to amber across Scotland's central belt, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Tayside and Fife.

Commuters were warned of travel chaos. Credit: PA
  • Flight disruption

Aer Lingus, Ireland's second-largest airline, has already cancelled all 12 of its flights between the UK and Republic of Ireland in anticipation of the winds.

Customers flying from Heathrow have been advised to check their flights before travelling.

Check your flight status here

A plane at Leeds Bradford Airport. Credit: PA
  • Rail disruption

Delays and cancellations are expected after speed restrictions were imposed for safety reasons, Network Rail announced.

Limits of 50mph will be observed on some services run by Southeastern, Arriva Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways, Grand Central, TransPennine Express and Virgin Trains East Coast.

Overhead cables were brought down at St Albans station causing cancellations and delays of up to an hour.

Trees on the line also resulted in replacement bus services being put on in some areas.

Follow the latest updates from Network Rail here

Emergency crews attended to a felled tree that brought down a power line and covered a rail track. Credit: ITV News
  • Road disruption

Highways England (HE) has issued a weather alert on major roads.

The agency warned the vehicles most at risk are high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes.

Drivers are "strongly advised" by HE to avoid travelling on some stretches of road in Yorkshire, the Midlands, and the East and North West.

Richard Leonard said: "We're expecting Storm Doris to have a significant impact on the roads throughout the day so are urging drivers to consider changing their plans if necessary and to slow down in stormy weather.

"Drivers should look out for warnings on the electronic message signs and listen for updates in radio travel bulletins."

Severe delays have been reported in a number of locations across the country, including central London after rooftop scaffolding collapsed, and the M1 in Nottinghamshire where debris began falling from an overhead gantry.

Check Highway England's latest advice here