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Storms leave 80,000 without power

Sandbags outside flooded house in York13/2/14

By Sarah Tawton

Storms have left tens of thousands of households still without power after parts of the country were battered by winds of up to 108mph.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) said 80,000 homes were still without electricity on Thursday, with the majority of them in Wales.

On Wednesday night around 130,000 households and businesses were hit by power cuts, some 52,000 in Mid and North Wales and 19,000 in the south west of England.

Another 10,000 homes were affected in the North West, along with 10,000 in Cheshire and 13,000 in the West Midlands.

100mph winds

One man tragically died in Wiltshire and hundreds were left stranded around the UK as 100mph winds caused travel chaos, stopping trains in their tracks and shutting down key transport routes.

ENA spokesman Tim Field said: "We continue working throughout today to get as many of those people back on supply as quickly and as safely as possible.

"We have seen some pretty horrendous conditions.

"Wales has suffered very strong winds of over 100mph, gusts in excess of 80mph and 90mph quite frequently on land.

"That has caused a lot of damage across the network across Wales so that is where we are seeing the majority of those people off supply at the moment."

More chaos forecast

After a brief respite on Thursday, parts of the country are due to face yet more chaos.

Another storm is set to bring heavy rain, strong winds and further risk of flooding on Friday and over the weekend.

Army chief Major General Patrick Sanders called the floods an "almost unparalleled" natural crisis, as hundreds of troops were called in to help homeowners protect their properties.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to reiterate his pledge that "money is no object" in the flood relief effort after Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said there was no "blank cheque".

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