Storm Eunice: Man killed by falling tree as 100mph winds hit UK

One person has been been killed by a falling tree as Storm Eunice brought damage, disruption and potentially record-breaking gusts of wind to the UK.

Millions of people have been urged to stay at home for the day due to safety fears over the impact of Eunice, one of the worst storms to hit the UK in a generation.

The death of a man in County Wexford was confirmed by police in Ireland, while a member of the public is in hospital with serious injuries after being struck by falling debris from a roof in Henley-on-Thames, Thames Valley Police said.

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Wexford County Council issued a statement after a man was killed by a falling tree, saying: “It is with deep regret and sadness that Wexford County Council confirms that one of our employees was fatally injured earlier today in a workplace accident.”

A man has been killed in Co Wexford after being struck by a falling tree, police in Ireland have said.

A spokesperson added: “The accident occurred as the employee attended the scene of a fallen tree in the North Wexford area.

“The employee’s family, An Garda Siochana and the Health and Safety Authority have been informed.

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“Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee’s family, work colleagues and friends at this very difficult time.”

Tens of thousands of homes have been left without power, while flights, trains and ferry services have been suspended, and roads, schools and businesses have shut as potentially record-breaking gusts of more than 120mph have been recorded in the most exposed areas.

Two red weather warnings have been issued in England, with a host of weather warnings across much of the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “We should all follow the advice and take precautions to keep safe.”

Winds of 122mph have been provisionally recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which, if verified, would be the highest ever recorded in England.

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Across the UK, but particularly in the worst-affected areas, people were asked to stay at home.

Western Power Distribution said that, as of 1pm, more than 140,000 homes were without power, the vast majority of which were in the south west of England.

On the transport network, several routes were closed.

Wind speeds forced both the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge and M48 Severn Bridge into Wales to close to traffic for what is believed to be the first time in history, while the Humber Bridge linking Yorkshire and Lincolnshire closed from 1.30pm.

Train operators across Britain urged passengers to avoid travelling on Friday as emergency 50mph speed limits are in place in many areas, with no trains operating in Wales for the entire day.

P&O Ferries suspended all sailings between Dover and Calais, while dozens of flights were cancelled and hundreds delayed across UK airports.

Elsewhere, Royal Mail said it “had no choice” but to suspend deliveries and close delivery offices in parts of the country due to safety concerns.

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Another weather warning has been issued for Scotland, with the Met Office issuing a yellow severe weather warning for most of the country apart from the extreme north from noon on Sunday to noon on Monday.

It is thought gusts could reach up to 80mph.