Storm Callum to batter UK with 50mph winds and downpours

Storm Callum is set to unleash 50mph winds and downpours across the UK this weekend.

An amber weather warning has been issued across Scotland, Wales, southern, western and northern England by Government environment officials ahead of the severe storm.

And a business group has claimed the bad weather could cost the economy as much as £10 million.

The impact of cancelled flights, trains and standstill traffic means that firms could lose out on delayed deliveries and stranded staff.

Met Office meteorologist Matthew Box said: "On Saturday there will be rain pushing into South West Wales, parts of Ireland, England and Scotland.

"For Saturday, the Met Office has issued an amber rain warning for South Wales and very strong winds on Saturday. "

"There is a risk of floods and risk to travel so I advise everyone keep updated with local weather reports," he continued.

"Areas such as South West Wales, Cornwall and Devon will see very strong gusts on Saturday morning.

"Winds will reach up to 50mph."

Conditions are expected to improve by Sunday with dry sunny spells during the day but possible showers in the north later on.

Today hundreds of homes have been left without power, falling trees and high seas are causing major disruption with weather warnings expected to remain in place until Saturday evening.

Roads across Devon have been blocked by debris and standing water as flights and trains cancelled in the face of winds at more than 70mph and up to a week’s rain falling in a few hours.

All CrossCountry trains are stopped in and out of Devon – not passing beyond Exeter or Plymouth so they do not cross the Dawlish sea wall.

Falling trees caused delays for passengers in Plymouth and Cornwall this morning.

Flybe cancelled all flights in and out of Exeter until this afternoon when the weather was expected to improve.

Tim Jones, chairman of the South West Business Council, said: "With an extreme weather event like this, we reckon that the impact on business to be around £10 million in terms of access to work and fracturing the supply chain which relies so heavily on just-in-time deliveries.

"The greatest rupturing is still on our road network, the fragility of having just one single artery, the M5, into the region is exposed when we have bad weather."

Mr Jones said that air travel has remained the most resilient in the face of bad weather but the resilience of the railway remains a priority for economic leaders.

He said: "This re-emphasises the impact of the vulnerable Dawlish sea wall and other flood prone areas, like Cowley Bridge."

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