Thames barrier closed as UK braces for storm

Winds of up to 114mph have battered Scotland and the north of England, while forecasters have warned that the east coast may see the worst flooding since 1953.

The Environment Agency has said that up to 3,000 homes may have to be evacuated as it issued 140 flood warnings across England and Wales.

David Rooke, director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment agency, said residents should be “braced for some of the most serious coastal flooding we have probably seen for at least 30 years and in some cases for over 60 years”.

A man has died in West Lothian after his lorry was toppled by high winds, and several others injured in car crashes in a separate incident in which a lorry was blown over.

The entire Scottish rail network is closed due to fears over strong winds and extensive debris on the tracks including trampolines and trees.  80,000 homes in the north of Scotland are currently without power.

Meanwhile, flights to the north of England and Scotland have been cancelled, and the Thames barrier has been deployed ahead of storm surges which are expected to batter the east coast this evening.

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