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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 20:06 GMT
Thousands without power in storms
Fallen tree in Cardiff
A house in Bedford Street, Roath, Cardiff is damaged by a fallen tree
Heavy rain and winds gusting to hurricane force cut power to thousands of Welsh homes and caused wide damage.

Electricity firm Scottish Power said 30,000 homes across north and mid Wales were affected, with the hope most would be reconnected later on Thursday.

Fallen trees and flooding caused travel disruption, with a driver killed on the A55 near Chester just after he left Wales as a lorry was blown onto a car.

Cardiff Airport flights were hit, along with rail services in and out of Wales.

Environment Agency Wales had 13 flood warnings and 35 flood watches in force at one point, although this was reduced.

Scottish Power said the area hit by power cuts appears to stretch from mid Wales to the north-east. Half the village of Llanuwchllyn near Bala was without electricity.

It warned isolated properties might still be without power on Friday.

Lorries

First Great Western rail services between London Paddington and Cardiff were cancelled and further disruption was expected.

Most flights out of Cardiff Airport were cancelled, delayed or diverted to other airports after 70mph gusts were recorded and the Port Road access route was closed after a garage roof blew on to the carriageway.

Aberavon sea front by Mike Davies
Drivers brave the battered sea front at Aberavon in south west Wales

The roofs were blown off five houses on the Trehafren estate at Newtown in Powys. All five families have been moved out. Elsewhere, at least three schools were closed.

In Prestatyn, the magistrates' court number two court had to be evacuated in mid-case after the roof started to lift.

Lorries overturned on the A55 on Anglesey and on the A5 at Chirk, with the Freight Transport Association advising its members to delay making deliveries until Friday if possible.

Winds gusting at 85 mph were recorded at Capel Curig in Snowdonia, 76 mph in Mumbles near Swansea, and 63mph at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Emergency crews were also called to Penallt, Monmouthshire, where a tree fell onto power cables.

Tree falls elsewhere included one which hit the bonnet of a car outside Flint Retail Park, leaving the male driver and female passenger shocked but otherwise unhurt.

BBC meteorologist Derek Brockway said the worst of the bad weather, but he warned that the weather looked like turning colder over the weekend.

Do you have a dramatic story to tell, or a picture illustrating the storms? Send your news and pictures to:

newsonline.wales@bbc.co.uk

Please do not endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch pictures of storm damage from around Wales



SEE ALSO
Man dies as storms batter region
18 Jan 07 |  England
New weather record made in 2006
09 Jan 07 |  Scotland

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