Storm Ciaran tornados batter Britain as 104mph winds leave destruction

Storm Ciaran tornados batter Britain as 104mph winds leave ‘disaster movie’ destruction as 127,000 homes lose power and people are told not to travel until Sunday

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Storm Ciaran tornados have battered Britain as 104mph winds were likened to a ‘disaster movie’ – as 127,000 homes lost power and people were told not to travel until Sunday. 

The Channel Islands were worst hit with dozens of homes on Jersey evacuated as a tornado blew through, trees were ripped up and huge hailstones smashed windows.

Roofs were torn off houses and trampolines were blown onto railway lines, with train operators urging commuters to work from home amid widespread disruption. 

CCTV footage from Sompting, Sussex, captured a suspected tornado throwing debris in all directions, leaving behind it a scene of destruction today.

The footage shows heavy rain pounding on the camera before flying debris crashes onto the ground and becomes strewn across the car park. 

Elsewhere a tornado hit Jersey, causing roofs to be dramatically lifted off houses and carried away in 104mph gusts.

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CCTV footage from Sompting, Sussex, captured strong wind brought about by Storm Ciaran throwing debris in all directions

Terrifying footage taken during the night shows the sky lit up with lightening as Storm Ciaran hit Jersey 

The hurricane-force winds, brought on by Storm Ciaran, caused havoc on the Channel Island with many homes having their windows smashed through, tiles flung off buildings and garden furniture turned upside down. 

James Watts and his colleagues, who work at Coverzone, discovered the Sompting tornado footage after parking a vehicle in the car park to try out a new car cover. 

Mr Watts claimed he found debris strewn across the car park when he arrived at work earlier today.

His colleague, Lukasz Dziecielski, said: ‘I parked my car and it became very nasty. I could see some objects flying from a roof, as well as some tree branches.

READ MORE: Storm Ciaran latest: Live weather updates with flood warnings in place across UK as 19,800 homes still without power and more schools shut tomorrow – but major incident in Hampshire is downgraded

‘I had to stay in my car for three or four minutes as it was too dangerous outside.’ 

Meanwhile the tornado that hit Jersey caused roofs to be dramatically lifted off houses and carried away in speedy gusts of wind. 

Dozens of islanders were forced to take refugee in hotels and community centres when the tornado rampaged through their homes in the early hours of this morning.

Terrifying footage taken during the night shows the sky lit up with lightening as roofs in the distance get chucked into the air along with other debris as heavy rain continues to pour down. 

Later videos show the damage done to the area, with piles of wood from fences littered over an athletics track, while rooves in the distance appear to be missing tiles. 

Families were evacuated from holiday parks at Tenby in Wales and Burton Bradstock in Dorset amid flooding and LNER told train passengers to avoid travel until Sunday.

Hundreds of schools in southern England shut because of risks to pupils and a major incident was declared in Hampshire due to concerns over pressure on local services.

The Energy Networks Association, which represents energy companies, said 126,800 homes lost power during the storm, with 19,800 still off grid at midday. An estimated 10,000 of these were in Cornwall, as well as 1,600 in Sussex and 6,500 in Surrey.

Dozens of islanders in Jersey were forced to take refugee in hotels and community centres when the tornado rampaged through their homes in the early hours of this morning

Waves crash against the harbour wall at Newhaven in East Sussex this afternoon

People are rescued from Freshwater Beach Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock, Dorset, today

Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock in Dorset is suffering major flooding today

Families were rescued from their holiday chalets at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock today after huge waves sent properties heading towards the sea.

Natural Resources Wales said Kiln Park caravan park in Pembrokeshire had also suffered major flooding, prompting the owners to ask guests to leave the site.

P&O Ferries and DFDS said tourist traffic was being sent away from the Port of Dover after the severe conditions closed the port. Calais was also shut due to the weather.

Kent Police then activated Operation Brock on the M20 coastbound carriageway between junctions eight and nine – temporarily closing the stretch due to the storm.

The ’emergency measure’ means EU-bound freight queues on the empty section of motorway to keep other roads clear. All other traffic must follow signed diversions. 

While the Met Office amber warnings have now ended, yellow warnings for wind and rain will remain in place for southern England and Wales until midnight tonight.

A rain warning for the east coast from Hull up to Aberdeen runs until 6am tomorrow, before a further warning for South East this Saturday from 3pm until midnight.

The Met Office confirmed Storm Ciaran set a new record for the lowest mean sea level pressure recorded in England in November, with a value of 953.3 hPa (mb) at Plymouth in Devon – compared to the previous low of 959.7 hPa (mb) set in 1916.

Meteorologist Scott Whitehead, who tweets as ‘Wanstead Weather’, said a map issued by the Met Office of the storm tracking across the South East coast showed how ‘London dodged a bullet’, adding: ‘Had the centre tracked 60 miles north…’

Kiln Park caravan park in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, has also suffered major flooding today

The branches of two mature trees brought down by Storm Ciaran at Falmouth Cemetery today

Huge waves strike the Devon coast at Teignmouth as Storm Ciaran sweeps across Britain

Workers removed water from the flooded railway at Romsey in Hampshire this afternoon

The South Devon Railway continues to run next to stormy seas at Teignmouth this morning

Trees are uprooted in St Helier today after winds reaching 100mph tore through Jersey

Waves crash against the harbour wall of Newhaven lighthouse in East Sussex today

Destruction caused to properties in the Dorset village of Loders today amid Storm Ciaran

People gather to watch as Storm Ciaran batters the coast at West Bay in Dorset today

Waves crash over the Dover harbour wall in Kent today as Storm Ciaran brings high winds

Vehicles are driven through a flooded road in Yapton, West Sussex, this afternoon

Trucks queue at Dover in Kent today as ferry crossings to the continent remain cancelled 

The Environment Agency imposed 79 flood warnings, where flooding is expected, and 195 flood alerts, where flooding is possible, across England this afternoon.

READ MORE Storm Ciaran latest: Live UK weather updates as Met Office issues new yellow rain warning after 104mph winds batter Channel Islands as cars are washed into sea, rail lines flood and all Dover ferries are cancelled

Natural Resources Wales had 13 flood alerts, one warning and one severe warning for the River Ritec at Tenby in Pembrokeshire due to a ‘significant risk to life’. 

There were a further seven flood alerts issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

States of Jersey Police said 35 people were moved to hotel accommodation overnight, with three taken to hospital after damage to their homes.

Officers said four further people had been moved to other accommodation and Jersey Fire and Rescue Service said gusts had reached up to 104mph.

One Jersey homeowner, Suzie Phillips, said: ‘The hailstones were quite a bit heavier and bigger than a golf ball and we’ve had three windows damaged by them – in my daughter’s bedroom, a landing and a bathroom.

‘It was quite worrying, especially for the kids – they were quite anxious about it.’

The Met Office said Jersey Airport had seen wind gusts of up to 93mph this morning, with Langdon Bay in Kent recording 71mph, and Cardinham in Cornwall seeing 68mph gusts.

Devastating scenes of destruction were seen across the Channel Islands, with all flights from Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney airports cancelled today.

Shocking footage caught on a baby monitor showed the terrifying moment a mother with her sleeping baby in Jersey was woken up as the storm smashed through her window, clutching on to her child as they flee the room.

The chairman of Jersey’s Consumer Council said Storm Ciaran hitting the island was like a ‘scene from a disaster movie’.

Carl Walker, 45, who is based in St Helier, said residents have been ‘well warned and prepared for the past few days’ about how the storm could affect them, but added: ‘I don’t think anyone expected it to be quite as bad as it was.’

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He and his family were woken by huge hailstorms at midnight, which he said were ‘marble-sized’ and had gelled together to create ‘golf ball sized lumps of ice’.

‘We camped out in our living room downstairs with our children (Ellie-Rose, 13, Callum, 11 and Erin, 7) 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,’ he added.

‘The noise of the wind was just incredible and quite frightening. It was like a scene from a disaster movie.’

After walking in the area after the winds dropped, he added: ‘The area is scattered with debris, whether it be roof tiles, bits of masonry, large pieces of trees and I think the authorities here are doing what they can to focus on opening up the main roads and help people whose homes have been ruined by (the storm).’

Damage to properties at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock in Dorset today

Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock in Dorset is suffering major flooding today

Rescue crews search for people in need of help at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park today 

Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock in Dorset is suffering major flooding today

Rescue crews search for people in need of help at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park today

Southern Rail urged commuters to work from home today and avoid non-essential journeys due to a strong risk of falling trees and debris blowing on to the tracks.

Other operators including Great Western Railway and Southeastern reported major closures due to the storm, with LNER urging all passengers not to travel until Sunday.

People affected by Storm Ciaran urged to check insurance terms 

Households and businesses affected by damage caused by Storm Ciaran are being reminded to keep receipts and check the terms of their insurance policies.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) said that temporary emergency repairs at a reasonable cost should be paid by insurers, but people should make sure they keep all of their receipts.

Many home insurance policies and business policies cover flood and water damage, but it is important to check exclusions or excesses in the policy that may affect the cover, it said.

Flood damage caused to cars should be covered by comprehensive motor insurance, and Biba suggested that cars standing in water for any length of time should be checked as brakes or other components may be affected.

If a home has been made uninhabitable, the reasonable cost of alternative accommodation will usually be met, up to stated limits, by insurers, it said. 

The exact terms and conditions of individual insurance policies will vary.

LNER also said no services will run between Edinburgh and Aberdeen until Saturday in both directions.

Its service between Newcastle and Edinburgh will run hourly from 3pm today until the end of service tomorrow.

Speed restrictions will be in place on the route, which may see services subject to delays of up to 40 minutes.

It said: ‘We are expecting disruption to LNER services until at least Saturday 4 November. Customers are advised to avoid travel by train during this period if possible.’

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

The Cornwall councillor in charge of environment and public protection, Martyn Alvey, said the storm had led to a ‘significant event’ in the region that had left its highways teams dealing with about 180 reports of fallen trees, debris and blocked drains.

He said: ‘The two biggest challenges have been outages and debris causing road blockage – and at one point there were over 10,000 properties that were out of power and now, as it approached lunchtime, we are down to about 6,500.

‘We are working with National Grid to help some vulnerable residents who might be impacted as it is forecast that some of them will not have their power restored until the morning.’ 

Somerset Council’s highways teams responded to more than 100 incidents as Storm Ciaran battered the county overnight.

About 30 incidents involved fallen or hazardous trees while much of the rest were flood-related issues.

The council said 10 schools in the county were closed due to staff and students facing travel problems while Haygrove School in Bridgwater was closed due to building safety concerns.

In Dorset, the sea breached flood defences at Freshwater Holiday Park in Dorset on the Unesco World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast in the early hours this morning.

Multiple caravans and park homes were smashed up by the huge waves which surged 160ft inland at the 80-acre park.

Three fire crews, police, ambulance and coastguard crews, and Dorset Council officers were in attendance at the park which was closed ‘until further notice’.

Holiday park staff helped evacuate about 70 guests from their caravans after knocking on every door at the site. It is believed that everybody is safe.

Council workers walk past damage and debris on the road at West Bay in Dorset this afternoon

LONDON: A cyclist attempts to ride through deep flood waters in Brent Cross this morning

DEVON: One risk-taking runner jogs along side the sea wall of Teignmouth amid the big waves

JERSEY: The Channel Islands are facing the brunt of Storm Ciaran with 35 people on Jersey being evacuated from the homes and moved to emergency accommodation overnight 

KENT: Huge waves crash over the harbour wall at Folkestone this morning

SUSSEX: Hove seafront in East Sussex is covered in froth from the stormy sea this morning

JERSEY: Lightning at St Aubin’s Bay last night, as the Channel Islands bear the brunt

LONDON: Traffic ploughs through water at Brent Cross in North West London this morning 

A Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue service spokesperson said: ‘We are dealing with a significant flooding incident at Freshwater Holiday Park. This has been caused by the sea breaching defences in the area.’

He added: ‘For people in their homes, particularly those who had lost power, it would have been a fairly traumatic experience.’

Schools in Hampshire, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall were among those forced to shut, with thousands of pupils being plunged back into Covid-style remote learning.

A Bexhill resident suggested Storm Ciaran has created ‘the strongest wind we have ever had’ in the East Sussex town.

Photo editor Nicola Pharoah posted a video on social media of the impact of Storm Ciaran on her garden.

She said: ‘This is the strongest wind we have ever had – it’s not stopping either. The wind started getting very strong at about 6am and now we getting huge gusts every 30 or 40 seconds.

‘There is a permanent dull hum in the background from the sea that’s at the bottom of our road, and garden just looks wild!’

She said the Bexhill Sixth Form College, where her children study, has been closed with all lessons moving online.

The major incident was declared by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum, with the local fire service warning there was a ‘potential risk to life’ as well as a risk of damage to buildings, falling trees and flooding.

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

Charity Age UK said older people living alone, with dementia, or who are seriously unwell need ‘extra support’, with director Caroline Abrahams saying: ‘We need to do more in advance and when disasters hit to safeguard older people.’

Two buses were damaged by debris in strong winds in Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, causing disruption to services in the area.

A Stagecoach spokesman said: ‘There are no reports of any injuries to passengers travelling on the buses.’

In Hastings, a trampoline blew on to the line, leading rail operators to warn people to tie down their garden furniture.

Southern Rail said: ‘If you plan to travel on routes, from or around the South Coast today, you should strongly consider whether your journey is necessary. You should work from home if you can.

Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink urged rail commuters to work from home today

KENT: A long line of freight lorries wait on the A20 in Dover as they try to enter the port today

JERSEY: Debris falls on top of two cars in Jersey today after a tree’s roots were pulled up

JERSEY: The Grand Hotel in St Helier is damaged in the storm today, with the side ripped away 

DEVON: A man in Dawlish holds onto his dog as they brave the coastal path in the storms

EAST SUSSEX: Storm Ciaran has eroded away part of the cliff at Birling Gap this morning

FALMOUTH: A tree was brought down overnight by the storm blocking Castle Hill Road 

PORTSMOUTH: Concrete slabs are left lying on the promenade after being dislodged

KENT: Freight lorries queue on the A20 as they wait to enter the Dover ferry terminal today

‘There is a strong risk of fallen trees and debris being blown on to the tracks, with major disruption likely to the service on Thursday morning.’ 

Works are ongoing as train operators assess any fallen trees and debris on the line.

Farmers ‘shouldering the burder of flooding’ 

Farmers and rural communities are ‘unfairly shouldering the burden’ of flooding because of ‘years of poor management’ from the Environment Agency, the rural landowners’ body has said.

Storm Ciaran is the second storm in two weeks to cause flooding across the UK. There are also 77 flood warnings from the Environment Agency showing a risk to properties.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) wants the Government to do more to support farmers and landowners and said their fields are being sacrificed to save houses and villages downstream.

Regional director Tim Bamford said: ‘Flooding can have a massive impact on farming and the countryside, with crops damaged and rural communities often cut off.

‘Years of poor management of watercourses and flood defences by the Environment Agency, often caused by lack of resources, mean farmers are still unfairly shouldering the burden of flooding devastation.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: ‘We are acutely aware of the impacts flooding can have on farmers and the agriculture sector, and our teams are working hard on the ground to help people recover from Storm Babet and the current impacts being felt by Storm Ciaran.

‘Between April 2021 and April 2023 we have better protected around 148,000 hectares of agricultural land through our flooding investment programme.

‘Working with farmers and landowners is also an important part of our flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy roadmap up to 2026, which is supported by a wide range of partners, including the NFU.’

Last night DFDS Ferries cancelled four services to and from Newhaven and Dieppe into Thursday morning.

Across the Channel in France, a person has died after the storm hit the country with winds of up to 128mph.

Transport Minister Clement Beaune said the lorry driver was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle in the Aisne region.

P&O have cancelled their ferry sailings between Dover and Calais due to the affects of the storm.

Long queues were seen building up on the A20 in Dover as freight lorries queued to enter onto the ferry service.

People were also being advised to stay away from coastal paths and promenades amid fears 35ft waves could sweep them into the sea.

In Brighton last night, sea foam caused by vicious waves covered the beach huts, as walkers attempted to take the strong winds.

In Dorset, Bournemouth and Boscombe Pier have been shut while the Twin Sails bridge in Poole was closed over safety concerns.

On the Isle of Wight dozens of homes were without power, with several roads shut due to flooding. Repair crews were desperately to restore overheard power lines.

Travel between Ryde and Portsmouth on the Fast Cat service was temporarily suspended due to flooding at Ryde Pier – but services later resumed.

The local authority in Hampshire had declared a major incident ahead of Storm Ciaran warning residents to stay indoors and avoid travelling.

Forecasters had predicted gusts of wind of up to 80mph with residents on coastal areas offered sandbags to shore up their properties.

Many of the tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight, including Dinosaur Isle and Shanklin Chine, closed for the day.

This morning the River Bride in Dorset burst its banks, flooding fields at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock. Photos showed the murky brown water overwhelming the area.

On the roads, motorists have had to plough through floodwater, while other cars were seen on their side after getting into trouble in the treacherous conditions.

This morning a man ended up in hospital after his car ploughed over 150ft down an embankment after driving through a huge four-foot-deep puddle on the A303 in Hampshire during the height of the storm.

It took 16 firefighters 45 minutes in the dark to release the man from the wreck of his Vauxhall Corsa, after he raised the alarm from his mobile phone at Bullington Cross.

DORSET: The River Bride burst its banks, flooding Freshwater Beach Holiday Park this morning

EAST SUSSEX: A trampoline has been blown on to a railway in Hastings, Southeastern said

KENT: Emergency services rush to a car overturned on the A20 as Storm Ciaran hits

JERSEY: The island was battered with three-inch hailstones in the early hours of this morning

KENT: In Folkestone a bus had its front windscreens blown out as 80mph winds hit today

KENT: Emergency services near Folkestone after a bus lost its windscreen in the winds today

JERSEY: Broken roof tiles and flipped over garden furniture form part of the debris today

WEST SUSSEX: A fallen tree blocks a lane in Barnham today as the storm hits the south coast

JERSEY: A tree falls on a parked black Kia today during Storm Ciaran in the Channel Islands


The car had come to rest on its side after it went through the deep puddle of water spread on both carriageways. He was taken to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital with leg and arm injuries.

Also this morning news reporters were seen battling with the effects of the storm live on air.

Sky News reporter Ashna Hurynag was knocked to the ground after the being blown over by a gust of winds while reporting from the stormy coast of St Helier.

As the correspondent battled with the winds as she spoke to her colleagues back in their London studio, she admitted to viewers: ‘It has to be said, I’ve never felt wind speeds like this.’

‘We’ve been told that wind speeds have exceeded 100 miles per hour and just by looking at the sea behind me you can see those huge waves crashing onto the seafront,’ she added, before she briefly disappeared from the screens.

Standing back up, she awkwardly chuckled, adding: ‘You can see the way those winds pushed me over just then’ before warning members of the public watching to ‘stay at home’.

Last night Kiln Park caravan park in Pembrokeshire had to be evacuated over fears the heavy flooding could pose a risk to life.

Ben Lukey, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: ‘Large waves and onshore gales brought by Storm Ciaran could see significant flooding along parts of the south coast and along parts of the Yorkshire and Northeast coasts on Thursday.’

Overnight, residents in Cornwall and Devon saw power lines and trees blown down.

Kate, who lives in St Ives, said: ‘It’s just been an onslaught. We’re moving a lot, I feel like I am a boat without the water. My anxiety levels are pretty high. We are holding on for dear life.’

And an Exeter local said: ‘The rain was Biblical. It came down and down. It was so intense and seemed to be worse than the downpours in mid September which led to flooding in places like Kenton, Dawlish and Totnes.

LONDON: A bus ploughs through deep water in Brent Cross today following heavy rainfall

EAST SUSSEX: Roads were closed in Ditchling Beacon overnight after a tree was blown over

‘After the stair rods of rain came the gales. It was 3am and the noise was like sitting next to a jet engine in a plane. I got up to check on my house and surrounding area because I thought there was bound to be damage or flooding.’

The River Otter has also burst its banks causing a huge headache for the annual Tar Barrel bonfire in Devon this weekend.

Ottery St Mary resident Jackie said: ‘There is a huge bonfire sitting in the middle of a large lake. The water has now surrounded the huge bonfire we have got for the Ottery Tar Barrels at the weekend. They can’t get near it because it’s a sea of water.’

In the county, 235 schools are closed for the day, as well as at least 50 in Cornwall.

In Jersey, with several people now in hospital as a result of the storm, the island’s Government again warned residents to stay at home today.

A statement issued this morning said: ‘In what is an ongoing situation, emergency services and staff from Infrastructure and Environment have been working through the night to answer hundreds of calls from Islanders, with the vast majority related to storm damage.

‘While affected Islanders have been moved to hotels and parish halls which opened in the early hours to act as temporary shelters for displaced residents, attention is now turned to this morning’s High Tide which is expected to be 11.5m at 8.40am and, with the ongoing high winds, could be higher.

‘Among the worst-hit areas last night were FB Fields and parts of St Clement while Gloucester Street was closed just after 5.30am when parts of the hospital’s Paediatric Block roof became unstable.

‘A multi-agency Situation Room at States of Jersey Police Headquarters is helping to co-ordinate the response after a major incident was declared last night. At 6.15am this morning there had been 107 ‘999’ calls and 270 calls to the non-emergency number.

‘Islanders are advised to stay at home and to only travel if it is essential or if they are essential workers. Advice about travel, disruption to services, and how to stay safe will be shared on the social media channels of the Government of Jersey and States of Jersey Police.’

Last night, dramatic footage showed a road blocked by a fallen tree in East Sussex, while aggressive waves spray cars and batter the Penzance seafront in Cornwall.

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