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Storm Ciarán: Flood and wind alerts for London as 'tornado' hits south coast

Londoners are being warned of possible flooding and damage to properties from high winds this week as Storm Ciarán hits the UK.

Met Office yellow warnings are in place over the capital on Wednesday and Thursday.

Heavy rain is being forecast overnight for several parts of the country as wet and windy weather is expected to build up to the "nasty storm" later in the week.

The Environment Agency has issued 72 flood warnings as the latest band of bad weather hits the country.

The Met Office has yellow rain warnings in place for London on Wednesday and Thursday with heavy downpours posing a threat to travel and potentially causing some flooding.

A further yellow wind alert has been issued from midnight to 6pm on Thursday. There is a "slight chance of damage to buildings and homes" and a small chance that falling debris could pose a threat to life, the Met Office says.

Forecasters warn the latest deluge could cause disruption to roads and public transport, and even lead to a “danger to life” from floods in parts of Scotland.

Flooding has been seen across Sussex over the weekend, including at the Priory Meadow Shopping Centre in Hastings which was evacuated on Saturday. Photos on social media showed floodwater coming through the entrance.

On Sunday, a caravan park in Bognor Regis was left under water, while the town’s Tesco supermarket car park also flooded. A house had its roof ripped off in heavy winds that residents described as like a “tornado”.

Kate Marks, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Significant coastal flooding is expected in the South West of England today due to high spring tides. It is also probable there will be minor coastal flooding impacts along parts of the south and west coasts of England.

Handout photo issued by the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro) of a house which had its roof ripped off in Littlehampton, West Sussex (PA)
Handout photo issued by the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro) of a house which had its roof ripped off in Littlehampton, West Sussex (PA)

“We urge people to stay safe on the coast and to remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades. Flooding of low-lying coastal roads is also possible and people must avoid driving through flood water, as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

“People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding, and follow @EnvAgency on X, formerly known as Twitter, for the latest flood updates.”

The weather is expected to worsen as the week progresses with rain warnings in place until Wednesday.

A “deep area of low pressure” is set to arrive on Thursday which has been named by the Met Office as Storm Ciaran, threatening strong winds and heavy rain to southern parts of England and Wales.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Chris Almond said: “Winds associated with Storm Ciaran are likely to gust to 80mph along the south coast of England, with a small risk of somewhere exposed seeing 90mph, and winds could even gust up to 50 or 60mph further inland.

“This deep low-pressure system will also bring heavy rain to much of the UK, but the heaviest rain is expected in southern and western areas with 20 to 25mm quite widely across the region, but up to 40 to 60mm potentially over higher ground.

“Heavy and persistent rain will fall on to already saturated ground, bringing a risk of further impacts such as flooding in areas that are already struggling to clean up from the heavy rainfall we have seen over the last week or so.”