Somerset

High winds and rain hamper travel across Somerset

Car crushed by tree in Wells
Image caption Weather forecasters said the wind speed and direction was unusual for this time of year

High winds and heavy rain is causing disruption across Somerset with trees blocking roads and power lines down.

Fire crews have dealt with fallen power lines near Wells and Highbridge, and a damaged roof in Burnham-on-Sea. In Wells, a car was crushed by a tree.

Western Power said 230 homes in the Midsomer Norton area and 96 homes in the Taunton area were without power.

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for Doniford Stream in the Sampford Mill Farm area.

The Met Office has issued a yellow alert for heavy rain and strong winds for Somerset.

'Unusual wind direction'

BBC weather forecaster Ian Fergusson said exposed parts of the county had sustained gusts approaching 50mph.

Image caption Western Power engineers have been out repairing damaged poles and cables

"This has led to trees falling down and some structural damage to buildings," he said.

"The wind is really exceptional for this time of year and so is the north northeasterly wind direction.

"In this part of the world the prevailing wind is southwesterly so trees tend to brace themselves for that.

"When it comes from the opposite direction and the trees are coming into full leaf this can add considerable stress to branches and trunks," Mr Fergusson added.

Garry Alford, from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said there was a great deal of debris on the road and standing water.

"People should slow down and drive for the conditions if they have to go out," he said.

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