'Danger to life' weather warning in force as Storm Eunice hits Wales

Thousands of homes have experienced power cuts and widespread damage has been reported to cars and buildings as a result of Storm Eunice.

A Met Office amber warning for strong winds - meaning there is a "good chance that flying debris could result in a danger to life" - remains in force across the whole of Wales until 21:00.

A rare 'red' warning - the Met Office's highest alert – was also issued in south Wales between 07:00 and 12:00 on Friday (February 18) due to the combination of high tides, strong winds and storm surges.

The Met Office warned of “flying debris resulting in danger to life” and “damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down."

  • Live video camera shows Storm Eunice hitting Porthcawl seafront

Natural Resources Wales has issued over 100 flood warnings - which means flooding is expected and "immediate action" is required.

And, for what is thought to be the first time ever, both Severn Bridges were closed due to wind speed.

The Britannia Bridge, which connects the island of Anglesey with mainland Wales, was also closed.

All trains in Wales have been cancelled and the majority of schools have been closed.

Traffic Wales has told motorists to expect dangerous driving conditions and people are advised to only travel if necessary.

  • Ruth Dodsworth gives the weather forecast amid the red Met Office warning

Which areas of Wales were covered by the red warning?

  • Bridgend

  • Caerphilly

  • Cardiff

  • Carmarthenshire

  • Monmouthshire

  • Neath Port Talbot

  • Newport

  • Rhondda Cynon Taf

  • Swansea

  • Vale of Glamorgan

Meanwhile the Prince of Wales cancelled a planned visit to Newport and Swansea as a result of the forecast.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Army is on standby to help those affected by Storm Eunice.

During a visit to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, he said: “So for those who have already been affected by Storm Dudley, we are offering all the support that we can.

“My sympathies to those who are still without power – we are working with the power companies, the local authorities, to get their juice restored as fast as possible.

“But of course, the Army is on standby.”

The red and amber weather warning areas for Storm Eunice on Friday 18 February 2022 Credit: Met Office

A number of attractions are temporarily closing. A National Trust spokesperson said: “Most of the places we look after in the south, south west and east of England, in the Midlands, and in Wales will be closed tomorrow due to the incoming storm.

“We’re urging people to follow local advice and to check our website for more information.”

The road in Langland, Gower, blocked by a fallen tree. Credit: Mark Sainsbury

Some local authorities have activated their Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers.

The scheme usually operates when temperatures drop to below freezing.

Cardiff Bus suspended all services between 7am and 1pm, with the announcement that "onwards normal services will resume depending upon conditions at that time". 

Damage is expected across widespread areas of the UK Credit: Jacob King/PA

A Network Rail spokesman said disruption is “inevitable” and Welsh services will be suspended for the whole day.

The railway operator said there will be blanket speed restrictions of 50mph in most places, with winds forecast to reach 90mph in some areas.

The decision for a countrywide closure of lines in Wales “has not been made lightly”, said Bill Kelly of Network Rail Wales and Borders.

He added: “The safety of passengers and staff is our top priority.”

The public is urged to be careful around coastal areas during the weather warning. Credit: PA

Weather watchers and amateur photographers have been urged to avoid the coastline in search of dramatic footage of Storm Eunice.

Roy Stokes from the Environment Agency said it was "probably the most stupid thing you can do" to travel to the most exposed areas, with gusts of up to 90mph expected on the coastline.

And the Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: "Please stay well back from breaking waves as you could easily end up in the sea."