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Wind and rain bring chaos to UK
Heavy wind and rain have brought chaos to large parts of the country for a second day running, leaving hundreds of drivers stranded, thousands of homes without power and the owners of more than 100 needing to be evacuated.
Many roads were left impassable as homeowners were again forced to protect their properties as water deluged swathes of the country. The South West, Midlands and west of England were the worst affected areas as heavy downpours led to flash flooding.
Western Power said that 2,500 customers in the South West and 500 in Wales were currently without power because of high winds bringing down power lines, but that it was working to reconnect them as quickly as possible.
North Wales became the latest area to be deluged, with the Gwynedd area worst affected. Three children had to be rescued from Dolbadarn primary school in Llanberis by firefighters in a boat when they were prevented from leaving by high water, North Wales Fire and Rescue said.
Both roads joining Anglesey and the mainland, the A55 and the A5, were closed near Bangor after a river burst its banks. A fire service spokeswoman said it had received more than 250 calls and appealed for people only to call "if you believe lives are at risk and not just to properties being flooded when the householders are able to move upstairs or seek shelter in neighbours".
"Roads throughout the region of south Gwynedd spreading east towards the Conwy Valley have been affected and the message from the emergency services remains the same, unless your journey is absolutely necessary do not use the roads," she added.
The Met Office said some areas saw up to 60mm (5in) of rain falling on already saturated ground, causing further river and surface water flooding. Much of the UK faced winds of up to 50-60mph, and even gusts of up to 70mph in exposed western areas, which worsened surface water flooding as drains were blocked by wind-blown leaves and debris.
More wet weather is forecast across the country on Saturday and Sunday, with the possibility of further significant disruption as a result of flooding. The majority of areas at risk are in south-west England and the Midlands.
The gusty winds were so bad that high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorcycles were banned from using the Tamar Bridge, which connects Devon and Cornwall. Many train services in the South West and connecting it to London Paddington were either cancelled or delayed.
People were evacuated from Billing Aquadrome campsite in Northamptonshire following flood warnings from the nearby River Nene. There are currently 87 flood warnings for rivers and more than 190 less serious flood alerts in place across England and Wales.