In pictures: Storms batter UK

After hurricane-force winds battered the UK on Wednesday, tens of thousands of homes in England and Wales remain without power and there is renewed transport disruption. The bad weather is set to return on Friday.

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The River Severn in flood-hit Worcester earlier reached its highest level in recent years. Here you can see the stands of Worcestershire County Cricket Club surrounded by water.

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The Environment Agency said flood defences "in Worcester town are holding, with levels now slowly decreasing" and it had no fears about the river coming over the top of flood defences there.

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A weir at Penton Hook Lock, Surrey, is surrounded by debris as the level of water in the River Thames remains high.

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At St Paul's Church in Egham, Surrey, volunteers sort food parcels donated for people affected by severe flooding in the area.

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Egham resident Michael Simmonds has lived in this house since he was six years old and this is the first time it has been flooded.

Image copyright Cpl Richard Cave LBPPA/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA

The Army has been laying sandbags in Chertsey where flood defences have been put in to protect about 200 homes.

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Pumps belonging to Dutch engineer Jerome van Heck, a flooding expert, have been installed at Dunball Sluice, Bridgwater, Somerset.

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The Met Office has issued various yellow, "be aware", rain, wind, ice and snow warnings for many parts of the UK, and the snow ploughs are already out on the Northumberland border.

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The trees at Kielder in Northumberland have taken a fair dusting of snow.

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This electricity pylon near to Houghton le Spring, which sits between Durham and Sunderland, was damaged by the severe overnight winds.

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The Met Office issued a rare "red warning", the most severe level of threat, for "exceptionally strong winds" in west Wales and some parts of north-west England. Blackpool was one of those areas that awoke to damage to buildings.

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Foam, which could be mistaken for snow, was blown from the turbulent waves along the Blackpool seafront.

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Trams were cancelled amid concerns about overhead power cables on the line that runs along the front of the resort.

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The BBC's Stuart Rowson took this picture in Didsbury, Manchester, but says the road is now clear.

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Winds of over 100 mph battered the Welsh coast forcing the closure of roads, rail lines and schools. In Aberystwyth the waves reached nearly as high as the buildings that line the front.

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Storm waves crashed over the Longships Lighthouse just off Land's End, Cornwall.

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A lorry was blown off the A628, Woodhead Pass between Manchester and Barnsley.

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High winds halted pedestrians' progress along Blackpool promenade.

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Members of Somerset Highways Agency made their way through the floods in Moorland in an all-terrain vehicle.

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A miniature sandstorm blew across the breakwater next to the Fort Perch Rock Lighthouse in New Brighton, Merseyside.

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Pedestrians had to battle high winds in many parts of the country.

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Floodwater encroached on parts of a petrol station forecourt in Staines.

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A lorry driver was lucky to avoid serious injury after colliding with a fallen tree on the A39 near Bridgwater, Somerset.

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Heavy winds and huge waves battered the coast of Port Quin, Cornwall.

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A lorry overturned on the M62 motorway at Scammoden Water in West Yorkshire.

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Waves battered Porthcawl harbour in Glamorgan.

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A car crashed onto bollards in the treacherous weather conditions on City Road in Tividale, Staffordshire.

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A wind-battered union flies above the harbour master's office on the Cobb at Lyme Regis, Dorset.