Hurricane Ophelia: Storm causes heavy travel disruption

Waves on Tywyn seafront Image copyright Mark Kendall
Image caption Waves battering the seafront at Tywyn, Gwynedd

Roads and railway lines were closed and thousands of homes lost power as the remains of Hurricane Ophelia brought strong gusts of wind to Wales.

It made its way from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, but its strength weakened to a storm.

BBC Weather said it recorded a gust of 90mph (145km/h) in Aberdaron, Gwynedd.

The Welsh Ambulance service said a woman was injured after being hit by a falling branch in Wrexham.

A Met Office amber "be prepared" warning was issued in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy and Denbighshire until 23:00 BST.

A yellow "be aware" warning was issued for many other parts of Wales until 23:55.

Image copyright Janet Baxter
Image caption Parts of Wales saw a red sunrise on Monday morning because Ophelia has dragged a lot of Saharan dust with it
Image copyright Tim Lewis
Image caption A tree blocked the road between Princes Gate and Tavernspite, Pembrokeshire
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Waves crashing off the coast of Holyhead

The Met Office said flying debris, such as tiles blown from roofs, and large waves around coastal areas could cause injuries or "danger to life".

Natural Resources Wales issued flood warnings and alerts.

Road, rail and air travel were all disrupted.

Strong winds closed the M4 Briton Ferry Bridge in Neath Port Talbot and North Wales Police advised motorists in Gwynedd and Anglesey not to travel unless their journeys were absolutely necessary.

It said its control room was "extremely busy", with more than 60 road disruptions due to the weather.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A car drives through sea foam whipped up by the wind of Storm Ophelia at Trearddur Bay, Holyhead

The Britannia Bridge between Gwynedd and Anglesey was closed, but later reopened to cars and small vans.

Several roads leading to the A55 in Conwy were also closed.

In Pembrokeshire, the Cleddau Bridge was shut, although it has now reopened for cars, and the council closed a number of roads due to fallen trees.

Ceredigion council said a number of smaller roads would be closed overnight due to fallen trees.

It also warned people to stay away from Aberystwyth seafront and Aberaeron, where flood warnings are in place due to high tides.

Both Irish Ferries and Stena Line ferry crossings between Wales and Ireland were cancelled from Holyhead, Pembroke and Fishguard.

At Milford Marina, in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, the water forced open the lock gates and part of one of them could be seen floating in the sea.

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Media captionStorm Ophelia batters Welsh coastline
Image copyright Dimitris Legakis
Image caption Sand has been causing problems on roads in seaside towns like Swansea
Image copyright Darrel Walters
Image caption Part of one of the lock gates at Milford Marina was seen floating in the water after they were forced open

Arriva Trains Wales warned of disruption as some trains will have to run at reduced speeds and there may be delays or changes at short notice.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Cardiff Airport also experienced some disruption with 12 flights cancelled and many more set to suffer delays.

Image copyright Cai Erith Williams
Image caption Waves lashing a cemetery in Aberdaron

All schools in Anglesey and Pembrokeshire closed early along with some in Gwynedd. Bangor University and Aberystwyth University also shut for the afternoon.

Western Power reported cuts in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, with more than 7,000 properties affected at one point as Western Power dealt with 18 high voltage faults.

Scottish Power, covering Gwynedd and Anglesey, said about 5,000 homes were without power on Monday night.

Image copyright Christopher Dearden
Image caption A tree fell on a car in Bangor
Image copyright Dawn Banks
Image caption Parts of a roof were blown off in this block of flats in Pwllheli, Gwynedd


People have been urged not to go near shorelines.

Holyhead Coastguard said the road at Treaddur Bay was closed to stop people getting to the shore.

"We would advise anyone to stay away from the edge, stick to paths and look out for safety signs," said James Boulter, from the RNLI lifeboat station in Mumbles, Swansea.

"Do not go too close trying to get that elusive picture or selfie. It really isn't worth it."

A rescue boat was called out to Poppit Sands in Cardigan Bay after a group of six people, including children, were seen in the water on Monday morning.

An RNLI spokesman said: "Conditions in the sea and even on the beach itself were horrendous and while they were well equipped, to even think of going out in this was just madness."

Meanwhile, Sea Trust Wales said more Portuguese man o' war sea creatures could wash up on Welsh beaches as a result of the weather.

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