2 killed as Storm Arwen batters Britain with high winds, rain, snow

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Nov. 27 (UPI) — Two people died in northern Britain and tens of thousands of homes and businesses in Scotland remained without power Saturday after Storm Arwen battered the country with high winds.

Police said a teacher in Northern Ireland and a man in the northern British county of Cumbria were killed by falling trees as Arwen unleashed winds of nearly 100 mph and pelted Britain with heavy rain and snow.

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Arwen “has delivered some dangerously strong winds overnight, with gusts in excess of 90 mph recorded and sustained windspeeds of over 60 mph,” Britain’s Met Office reported.

The top wind gust was recorded at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland at 98 mph, according to chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale.

Impacts from the storm were felt across northern Britain, and especially in Scotland, where 75,000 homes were still without power by Saturday morning, utility officials said.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said it has experienced more than 300 high voltage faults and that crews have successfully restored power to more than 40,000 customers in “extremely challenging conditions.”

Sustained wind speeds of over 70 mph were recorded across northern Scotland beginning early Friday afternoon with gusts in excess of 90 mph accompanied by significant rainfall.

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it received more than 900 calls Friday night and made 500 mobilizations.

Wind speeds began subsiding early Saturday but weather warnings remained in force through the day. A “yellow” wind warning covering much of Britain was in effect through early evening as forecasters said the strong winds would move southwards across the country throughout the day.