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Storm Imogen set to lash south-west England and south Wales

February 7, 2016 5:45 pm

Parts of Britain will be lashed by high winds and heavy rain on Monday as Storm Imogen moves in, forecasters say.

Some ferries between the UK and France have been cancelled, rail travel may be disrupted and drivers have been warned that conditions could be difficult.

The M48 Severn Bridge has been closed in both directions to high-sided vehicles because of high winds, although the M4 Second Severn Crossing remains open.

Gusts in south-west England may reach 80mph, with high winds sweeping across the Bristol Channel area to Cardiff and Bristol from the early hours.

The BBC Weather Centre said gusts of 66pmh and 60mph have already been recorded in the Isles of Scilly and Camborne, west Cornwall.

The Met Office warning is in place for Wales, South West England, London and South East England.

There are 61 flood warnings in place in England and Wales – meaning flooding is expected – and more than 200 flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible.

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: "People should be prepared for disruption to travel on roads, rail, bridges and ferries and we could see possible damage to structures and downed trees risk affecting power.

“The wind will be combined with some hefty showers with some thunder along the south coast.”

The morning rush hour would be “especially impacted”, he said.

The Met Office said the strongest winds could affect the M4 and M5 motorways, with wind gusts due to peak form late morning into the afternoon.