Storms batter British coastline
England and Wales are being battered by one of the worst storms in years with heavy rain and hurricane-force winds sweeping the coast.
A search was under way for a 14-year-old boy who was swept out to sea while swimming near the shore in Newhaven, East Sussex yesterday.
Winds of more than 80mph left a trail of destruction, bringing down trees and causing widespread structural damage, leading to power cuts. Transport chaos is expected this morning.
Surface water floods were expected to reach much of England as the Met Office predicted 2-4cm of rain could fall.
Police said the missing teenager got into difficulty at about 4.15pm while swimming with friends near the shore at West Beach, Newhaven.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: "This is a very distressing incident and everything possible is being done to try to find the boy. Meanwhile, all agencies remind people of the dangers of being at seashores in adverse weather, especially in view of the approaching severe weather conditions overnight. The advice is straightforward – stay clear."
A search is under way involving the coastguard and police.
The high winds caused an 89ft wind turbine to blow over in a field at Higher Rixdale Farm at Luton, near Teignmouth, Devon.
It also saw firefighters dismantle a smaller turbine from the roof of a house in Ilfracombe which was in "in a precarious position".
The weather also played havoc with air and sea travel arrangements with flights and ferries cancelled.