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Three dead as hurricane Ophelia force gales continue destructive path across UK



Monster Storm Ophelia is set to wreak more havoc as it continues its deadly path across the British Isles.

Three people died when hurricane-force winds as high as 119mph battered Ireland on Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and a path of chaos in its wake.

Now Scotland is braced for fierce gusts, with flood warnings in place on the west coast. A yellow weather alert for wind has also been issued Northern Ireland, southern and central Scotland, the north of England and north west Wales.

Ireland bore the brunt of Ophelia’s wrath as she claimed three lives on Monday.

One man was killed in Ravensdale, Dundalk, when a car he was in was struck by a tree at around 2.45pm, Ireland’s Garda said. He was named in reports as Fintan Goss, 33, a father-of-two.

In Cahir, Co Tipperary, a 31-year-old man was killed in a chainsaw accident when he was trying to clear a tree downed by the wind. He was named locally as Michael Pyke.

And earlier, a woman driver in her 50s died when a tree fell on her car in strong winds near Aglish village in Co Waterford.

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The Irish Independent reported the victim was former oncology nurse Clare O’Neill, who was due to celebrate her 59th birthday on Tuesday.

Around 330,000 homes and business were still without power on Monday night following the worst storm on record on the island of Ireland.

Authorities in the Republic and Northern Ireland have said schools will remain closed on Tuesday to ensure the safety of staff and children.

In Britain, Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said commuters in north-westerly parts of the country should expect “very gusty conditions”, with winds of up to 70mph.

He said: “The strong winds will continue but should moderate a little bit compared to what we have seen.

There’s still a risk of gales and it’s still strong enough to cause disruption, but a little bit down on what we have seen.

Conditions in London and the South East are expected to be far milder, with highs of 17C and dramatically calmer winds.

The capital got its own taste of the freak weather yesterday, however, when the sky turned orange as ex-hurricane Ophelia pulled up air and dust from southern Europe and Africa.

The phenomenon is unlikely to return on Tuesday due to a change in air mass.

Storm Ophelia hit exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987, which killed 18 people and immortalised weatherman Michael Fish’s mistaken claim that Britain doesn’t get hurricanes.


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