Hurricane-force gusts hit Scotland yesterday, causing a fatal truck accident, halting all trains and leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity. Much of northwestern Europe braced for a storm that was expected to bring flooding to coastal areas.
Winds of up to 142 miles (229 kilometres) per hour were measured overnight in the Scottish Highlands, and many roads and bridges were closed. All train services in Scotland were suspended; Network Rail spokesman Nick King said that "there's too much debris and too much damage to equipment to continue".
The British government's crisis committee met to discuss its response to a storm that threatened to cause tidal surges flooding as many as 6,000 homes.
A truck driver was killed and four people were injured in an accident west of Edinburgh when high winds toppled his vehicle on to several cars, police said.
A number of flights serving Scotland were also cancelled, and power companies said up to 100,000 homes were without electricity. Another 7,000 homes were reported without power in Northern Ireland.