The storm has temporarily knocked thousands of homes off of the electricity grid

Storm Barney ravages UK electricity and rail networks

Thousands of homes have been left without power and rail networks are struggling with severe delays in the aftermath of Storm Barney, which saw gusts of over 80mph hit the UK.

Residents in Wales have been badly hit with winds travelling at 83mph - the worst recorded during the storm - located in the north of the country.

In north and mid-Wales, about 6,000 homes were left without power when the gale-force winds hit.

In addition, Western Power Distribution said that 2,500 West Midland homes lost their access to electricity.

Train operator London Midland also said fallen trees had halted all its rush-hour services in the middle of England.

In a statement, the company said: "Due to extensive damage to the overhead power lines caused by fallen trees, trains are currently unable to run between Birmingham and Lichfield, or between Coseley and Birmingham.

"Rail tickets will be accepted on National Express West Midlands buses and Midland Metro trams."

Although the worst of the storm was over by this morning, forecasters have warned of an ‘ongoing unsettled spell’.

John Lee, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "In general the strongest winds moved west to east across Ireland to Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia.

"From about midnight it all quickly died down. Barney is out of the way now and there is some low pressure that will be bringing rain to Northern Ireland and the far west of Scotland.

"We are going to get some strong winds today, with gusts of up to 55mph in exposed western areas, but again it will die off overnight."

Storm Barney follows hot on the heels of Storm Abigail last week. The Met Office recently announced its self-explanatory Name Our Storms project, with each subsequent storm taking on the next letter of the alphabet. Future storms will be named Clodagh, Desmond and Eva.

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