Storm Erik is set to batter parts of Britain with 80mph gales and heavy rain forcing meteorologists to issue ‘danger to life’ warnings, with one motorist fighting for their life this morning after a tree fell on their car.
The first storm of the year is currently raging across the Atlantic and is expected to track east across Northern Ireland, northern England and Scotland throughout today and into Saturday.
The Met Office warned that travel delays throughout the day were very likely, with the risk of fallen trees blocking roads and railways and high winds closing bridges and ferry routes.
During the morning rush hour, a man suffered serious injuries after ferocious gales tore down a tree, hitting two cars as they drove along the busy A384 in Buckfastleigh, Devon.
Police closed the road in both directions as they praised a quick-thinking HGV driver who blocked off the carriageway with his vehicle to stop others from crashing into the giant oak.
Meanwhile, a yellow wind warning has been declared for parts of northern England and Northern Ireland, while a yellow rain warning covering much of Scotland warned that there could be power cuts and flooding.
Flood warnings have also been issued by authorities in Dorset while several flood alerts are in place across the south west and central England.
The first storm of the year is currently raging across the Atlantic and is expected to track east across Northern Ireland, northern England and Scotland throughout today and into Saturday
The Met Office warned that travel delays during the morning rush hour were very likely, with the risk of fallen trees blocking roads and railways and high winds closing bridges and ferry routes
A yellow wind warning has been declared by forecasters for parts of northern England and Northern Ireland, while a yellow rain warning covering much of Scotland warned that there could be power cuts and flooding
The strong winds has caused severe travel disruptions in some areas, with train services suspended between Tattenham Corner and Coulsdon Town in Surrey due to fallen tree on the line.
Met Office chief meteorologist Will Lang said southern and central England would not escape the brutal gales despite not being directly in the path of the storm, adding that Friday would be a ‘windy day for everyone’.
The Welsh and Cornish coasts could see winds of 55mph, while along the coast of southern England gusts could reach 50mph.
The stormy weather will result in some ‘quite nasty travelling conditions’, meteorologist Sarah Kent warned.
She added: ‘It’s going to be a noticeably windy day everywhere today. And that is going to be in association with outbreaks of heavy rain too, so there will be some quite nasty travelling conditions out there this morning.’
While there is expected to be a lull in the fiercest winds on Friday evening, gusts will pick up again around midnight, when a warning for wind will cover Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and much of Northern England.
Storm Erik was named by Irish forecaster Met Eireann on Thursday and overnight brought winds of 56mph to Cork.
Strong winds and heavy rain is set to batter much of Britain today, with clearer skies expected through the weekend (shown)
Yesterday’s winds made this scaffolding at the junction of Pont Street and Chesham Place in Chelsea, west London collapse as Britain was hit by winds approaching 80mph