Homes without power and travel disrupted as wind batters West Midlands
High winds, fallen trees and debris have led to a morning of travel disruption after a blustery night across the West Midlands.
Severe gales battered the region throughout Wednesday night and hundreds of Staffordshire homes were left without power as a result.
Wind speeds have now dropped, but a severe weather warning covering the entire of the Black Country and Staffordshire was in place from 3am until 9am as gusts reached almost 60mph.
In Wolverhampton, both trams and trains were disrupted due to overhead wire damage, while the Cross City line from Birmingham to New Street to Redditch was severely affected.
Meanwhile fallen trees caused disruption for motorists, with A-roads blocked in Himley, Codsall and Lichfield.
Staffordshire Police was inundated with calls as gale-force winds arrived in the early hours and led to power cuts across the county.
Across the West Midlands 1,518 properties were without power at 9.30am, with more than 100 homes affected in the ST18 and ST16 postcodes near Stafford, and more than 60 properties without electricity in Great Wyrley.
The vast majority of homes have since had their power restored and Western Power Distribution said it was expecting all incidents to be resolved by 4pm.
More than 18,000 customers across the electricity distributor's Midlands, South West and Wales network had already had their power restored by 8am.
Trains between Wolverhampton and Stafford were cancelled or delayed between 5.30am and 8.30am due to overhead wire damage, while the Midland Metro line was blocked near The Crescent in Bilston due to a fallen branch.
Tram users were forced to take a bus between Wolverhampton and The Crescent and between The Crescent and Wednesbury Parkway until the overhead lines were cleared at around 7am.
On the roads, there was traffic chaos in Lichfield when a fallen tree shut Beacon Street, while Wergs Hall Road in Codsall and Walmley Road in Sutton Coldfield were also blocked by trees.
Another tree on the A449 in Himley was cleared by 7am, before a damaged street light partially blocking the southbound M6 was removed between Junction 10 and 10 near Wolverhampton.
Elsewhere in the country, emergency services had a busy night as winds reached speeds of more than 80mph.
West Midlands Fire Service said no one was injured when a brick gable was blown off a house in the Stoke Heath area of Coventry.
In Mid Wales a freight train struck two sheds that had blown on to the track between Newtown and Welshpool in Wales, while trains were cancelled between Chester and Shrewsbury due to damage to level crossing barriers between Chester and Wrexham.
The Met Office has now issued a new severe weather warning for ice from 7pm on Thursday until 10am on Friday.
The warning does not cover the Black County but does include Stafford, where it says icy stretches are likely to form as temperatures drop overnight.
- Are there trees down or power cuts in your area? If you've been affected by the wind get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org