Storm Otto expected to bring gusts of up to 75mph to Northumberland
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The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning as Storm Otto, the first named storm of the season, strikes northern parts of the UK.
In the North East, the warning is in place from 5am to 2pm with the Met Office advising residents of large waves on North Sea coasts, as well as a chance of some damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: “Storm Otto will bring high winds and rain to the UK, with some northern parts of Scotland and the northeast of England likely to get the strongest gusts of wind, possibly in excess of 75mph. Warnings have been issued and could be updated as Storm Otto develops.
“There’s a chance of travel disruption and high-sided vehicles could be particularly prone to disrupted plans in this set-up. There’s associated rain with Storm Otto, with 40-50 mm of rain likely to fall over parts of western Scotland.”
National Highways have advised motorists to take extra care while out on the roads.
In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.
Luke Hindle, national network manager at National Highways, said: “With the potential for high winds, it is important to plan ahead for your journey, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.
“We have a section of our website dedicated to travelling amid storms, high winds and gales, and considerations for different types of vehicle, as part of our guide to travelling in severe weather. It’s also a good idea for people to check their vehicles, such as tyres, coolant and oil levels, before heading out to reduce the risk of breakdowns.”
Northern Powergrid is ready to mobilise teams and support as the situation develops.
It says the weather front does have the potential to have an impact and cause damage to the network, so there is a possibility that there could be disruption to power supplies in at least some parts of the region.
Relevant teams are on standby and ready to be diverted onto the storm response should this materialise. A fleet of generators are also ready to be deployed where they are the most effective way of restoring supplies.
Contact has been made with the relevant Local Resilience Forums to keep them updated and the network operator will continue to keep customers and stakeholders updated.
If impacted by a power cut you can use Northern Powergrid's website to report it and also find the latest information about what the network operator is doing to restore supplies. Visit www.northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts. Alternatively, customers can call the free power cut number on 105.
Customers are also advised to check Northern Powergrid's 24/7 social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter (@NorthPowergrid).
Northern Powergrid offers free Priority Services Membership to customers who may need additional advice or support due to their medical or personal circumstances. Visit northernpowergrid.com/care to find out more and join.