School closures and travel disruption - all you need to know as Storm Eunice hits South West

Waves hit the coast at Porthleven, Cornwall, during Storm Freya in 2019 Credit: The Met Office

A rare red weather warning has been issued for part of the South West as Storm Eunice approaches - with school and attraction closures planned.

The Met Office says there is a "danger to life" with potential for winds to get as high as 100mph and multiple major incidents have been declared in the West Country.

The last time this happened was in January 1990, when 47 people died.

The Burns' Day Storm - also known as Cyclone Daria - in 1990 saw strong winds affect a large area during the day, meaning there were more deaths and injuries than when previous winds of that magnitude hit in October 1987.

Storm Eunice is set to cause severe disruption with attractions and schools set to close, train services cancelled and roads likely to be blocked by fallen trees.

We've got the latest traffic information throughout Friday 18 February here.

Where in the West Country is going to be worst hit by Storm Eunice?

A previous storm in Portreath, Cornwall, in 2020 Credit: PA

Cornwall is set to be particularly badly hit, with high tides tomorrow morning due to coincide with a possible storm surge.

Gusts of up to 100mph could hit the county and so Cornwall Council is warning people to secure items in gardens.

The places likely to be worst affected include the harbour and Porthminster Beach in St Ives, Portreath, Perranporth, Porth, Mawgan Porth, Polzeath, Port Isaac and Widemouth Bay.

What weather warnings are in place for Storm Eunice?

The Met Office has put a red weather warning for wind in place from 7am to 9am on Friday 18 February covering the north coast of Devon and Cornwall going up through the Bristol Channel encompassing parts of South Wales.

A red warning means there is a danger to life, with damage to buildings, homes and power lines expected as well as disruption on the roads and large waves in coastal areas.

A second, amber weather warning for wind is in place from 5am to 9pm on Friday 18 February. It covers the whole of the South West and means there is a "good chance that flying debris could result in a danger to life", according to the Met Office.

  • Aidan McGivern from the Met Office explains the warnings in place

Major incidents declared in Gloucestershire, Bristol and Somerset

Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset's Local Resilience Forums have both declared major incidents in relation to Storm Eunice.

A red weather alert and flood warnings run the length of the west coast of Somerset, through the Bristol Channel and the Severn Estuary up to Longford.

Some properties in flood prone parts of Gloucestershire are being evacuated.

Environment Agency flood alerts in place in Gloucestershire and Somerset

Multiple flood alerts have been issued in the West Country. They cover the River Severn and the River Wye and the Wye Estuary in Gloucestershire, the Severn estuary at Severn Beach and from Gloucester to Sharpness and the Somerset coast at Porlock Weir.

Tamar Bridge restrictions

Disruption on trains

Services on all branch lines in Devon and Cornwall will be suspended tomorrow - except for the Exmouth to Exeter train.

The Severn Beach line has also been suspended.

Great Western Railways says to ensure trains can run safely, speed restrictions will be put in place. It means the number of trains that are running will be significantly reduced.

Where bus replacement services are able to operate, they too will be affected by very poor road conditions, possible road closures, and are likely to be very busy.

Bristol buses cancelled

All of the First Bus services in and around Bristol have been cancelled until around 1pm on Friday 18 February.

In a message posted on its app, the bus company said: "All bus services in Bristol (including metrobus, Bristol Park & Ride and Airport Flyer), South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Wells will be suspended until at least 1pm on Friday 18 February."

M5 crash - 'do not travel' warning

Motorists in "vulnerable" vehicles have been urged not to travel on certain stretches of the M5 motorway.

A crash near Gloucestershire means all traffic is being temporarily held and there are long queues after a lorry overturned between the Thornbury / Falfield junction and Almondsbury Interchange. A car was also involved in the accident.

Exeter Airport flights cancelled

Stephen Wiltshire, Managing Director of Exeter Airport in Devon, said: "We've had three scheduled flights cancelled tomorrow from Exeter to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast because as well as the winds forecast for the South West there is snow forecast for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"The Met Office is also expected snow in Northern England, so we are waiting to hear whether this will impact our Newcastle service. Our advice to passengers is always to check directly with their airline for the most up to date travel advice."

  • GWR's advice to travellers

St Michael's Mount closed

Schools closed

Most schools in the South West will be closed today (Friday 18 February) as people are being warned not to travel.

Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council have both advised school in the area close on Friday due to the storm. Check the respective government websites for the latest school closures in Bristol and North Somerset.

All local authority schools in Dorset will close on Friday as the region prepares for the storm's arrival. You can check for the latest closures on the council website.

Devon County Council has also told parents many schools in the county may be closed. You can find the latest list of school closures on the council's website.

The Five Islands Academy - the only primary school on the Isles of Scilly - has also been warned by the police on the islands to shut. A spokeswoman for the school said all children will be safely boated back to the five inhabited islands today so they can be home safe when Storm Eunice hits.

There is a full list of the latest school closure announcements by county here.

Rubbish collections cancelled

There will be no rubbish or recycling collections in Somerset or North Somerset tomorrow because of Storm Eunice.

The Somerset Waste Partnership has asked all residents to safely store bins to avoid potential hazards in the high winds. North Somerset Council has also cancelled Friday collections.

All recycling sites in the county will also be closed for the day.