Storm Ciarán: Schools shut, homes evacuated and 9,000 properties without power

ITV News reports on the chaos caused by Storm Ciarán as it continues to batter the south of England and the Channel Islands

Schools have closed, homes were evacuated and 9,000 properties are without power as Storm Ciarán continues to cause disruption in the UK and Channel Islands.

A total of 79 flood warnings were issued by the Environment Agency, with most along the south coast. A further 197 alerts are in place for possible flooding.

The Channel Islands have been some of the worst affected, where a red weather warning - meaning there is a potential risk to life - remains in place.

A major incident was declared in Jersey, where three people were hospitalised and dozens were forced to take refuge in a hotel, after winds of up to 104mph damaged properties.

A man takes a selfie with a wave crashing into Folkestone Harbour. Credit: PA

One local father described the conditions as "like a scene from a disaster movie."

“We camped out in our living room downstairs with our children because it was just simply too noisy and too frightening to be upstairs in the bedrooms – tiles were lifting, debris was hitting the roof, windows were flexing,” said the chairman of Jersey’s Consumer Council, Carl Walker.

Meanwhile, a baby monitor captured the dramatic moment 100mph gales blew in a Jersey property's bedroom window as a mother and her baby daughter slept.

Jessica O'Reilly, who managed to grab her three-month-old daughter and run to safety before the window was destroyed, told ITV Channel she is "grateful to be alive".

A baby monitor captured the moment Storm Ciarán blew in a window as a family slept

The stormy weather has moved across the UK to Scotland, where yellow rain warnings are in place for Thursday evening and throughout Friday on the east coast.

It is already causing travel disruption as around 70 train services from Edinburgh Waverly station have been cancelled during rush hour this evening. The delays, due to a failure of the electricity supply, are expected to last until 11pm.

Drivers faced travel chaos across the south of England, including at the Port of Dover, where P&O Ferries said tourist traffic was being sent away as severe conditions closed the terminal.

The AA said it had “rescued 84 customers stuck in flood so far today, with thousands more impacted by the weather”.

Hundreds of schools across the south and up to the east of England have closed their doors to pupils on Thursday due to the storm, while children in Jersey are not expected back in classrooms until Monday.

Is the worst of Storm Ciarán over? ITV News Weather Presenter Lucy Verasamy explains

Cornwall Council said nearly 10,000 homes in the county are without power, adding that strong winds and large waves will make coastlines particularly dangerous.

Ports of Jersey said Jersey Airport would remain closed to commercial flights into Friday because of extensive infrastructure, equipment and system failures, but the harbour has now reopened.

The coastguard in Whitby, Yorkshire, issued a warning after a number of people were spotted walking on the town's East Pier.

Video footage shared on social media captured the moment one woman was swept off her feet by a wave, as she walked amid the dangerous conditions.

Watch the moment a woman is nearly swept into the sea in Whitby, Yorkshire, as she walks along the town's East Pier. Credit X/@Coffeemad74

In Dorset, firefighters evacuated 70 people from 198 caravans at Freshwater Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock, near Bradport, with some being taken to dry land by boat.

A person sitting on a submerged bench at Canoe Lake, Southsea, Portsmouth. Credit: PA

And a yellow warning for rain is in place from 6am on Thursday to 6am on Friday for north-east England and Scotland, stretching up to Inverness.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight had been under a yellow weather warning, although this was downgraded on Thursday afternoon as authorities said the area had not experienced the "full extent of the forecast weather".

Southern parts of England and Wales are also covered by a yellow rain warning from 6pm on Wednesday until the end of Thursday.

Commuters in southern England were urged to work from home by Southern Rail, with Southeastern "strongly advising" passengers not to travel on routes in and out of London before 9am on Thursday, as they assess any fallen trees and debris, including trampolines, on lines.

Other operators were warning of delays and cancellations, including those in parts of Scotland which are to face delays until Saturday morning due to weather warnings.

A train driver took this picture during the storm of a trampoline which had blown onto the railway in Trewoon near St Austell. Credit: Twitter/ @Blazeydriver

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators said: "Our colleagues will be working extremely hard over the coming days to keep passengers on the move but also to keep them safe during this bad weather.

"We will be working closely with Network Rail to understand the impact on the rail network, and we are encouraging passengers to check their journey before travelling."

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Brent Walker said: "Very strong winds are expected along southern coastal areas of England in particular, where gusts of 70 to 80mph are possible, perhaps exceeding 85 mph in a few exposed locations. Further inland, gusts could reach up to 50 or 60mph."

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) urged people watching the conditions to stay away from the coast.

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