Two men die as Storm Arwen hits the UK

Storm Arwen

Frances Lagen lost his life in the storm. Image: St Mary's PS

Two men have been killed by falling trees as Storm Arwen battered parts of the UK with gale-force winds, snow and rain over the last 24 hours. A man was hit by a falling tree in Cumbria, and a school headteacher lost his life when a tree fell onto his car in Antrim. Gusts of wind reaching 98mph have been recorded in Northumberland and there are further weather warnings in place for Saturday 27 November, urging caution over snow, ice and wind. 

In Scotland, more than 100,000 people lost power as the storm hit, and on the M62, about 120 lorries became stuck in snow. The Met Office issued a rare red warning for wind on Friday 26 November across the east coast of Scotland and northeast England. This is where the highest speeds of 98mph were recorded at Brizlee Wood. 

Trees were blown over across the UK and many buildings saw damage overnight. Gusts of 87mph were recorded at Orlock Head, County Down, while Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland saw speeds of 78mph, and Aberporth in Wales had gusts of up to 77mph.

The man that died in Northern Ireland was named as the principal of St Mary’s Primary School in Maghera, Francis Lagan. Fellow teachers paid tribute after his death saying education lost “a giant in his prime.”

LNER advised customers not to travel north of York on Saturday or Sunday, saying they were unable to transport passengers between Newcastle and Edinburgh due to significant damage to the rail network.

ScotRail also withdrew services between Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness on Friday and there was disruption on other lines. Passengers in Aberdeenshire were stuck on a train for 17 hours while Storm Arwen raged outside.

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Written by

Claire Gordon