Moment overhead line 'explodes' as country is battered by Storm Elin

Storm Elin: Moment overhead line ‘explodes’ causing serious disruption at Manchester Piccadilly as city is battered by heavy rain and winds as Storm Fergus is also expected to wreak havoc across UK

  •  Storm Elin set to be followed by a second front, named Storm Fergus, on Sunday

Manchester Piccadilly has been hit by serious disruption tonight after an overhead line ‘exploded’ as Storm Elin battered the city – with wind, rain and flood warnings in place across many parts of the country.

Dramatic footage, sent in by a passenger who was on a train near Piccadilly station at around 5.40pm, shows huge flashes of light and sparks coming from overhead wires.

Shortly after the video was taken, railway bosses confirmed damage had been done to the overhead wires, with operator Northern issuing a ‘do not travel’ alert tonight due to ‘multiple weather-related incidents’.

Queues of travellers have been pictured at the station with boards showing delayed departures. Meanwhile, Christmas partygoers have been braving the elements, as well as the delays, to enjoy a night out in the city as Storm Elin hits the north.

It will be immediately be followed by a second front, named as Storm Fergus, which is moving in on Sunday – bringing with it further heavy downpours and gusty winds.

Christmas revellers brave the stormy conditions as they enjoy a night out in Manchester

Cars couldn’t go any further on a flooded road near Ely, Cambs, on Saturday morning

Dramatic footage, sent in by a passenger who was on a train near Piccadilly station at around 5.40pm, shows huge flashes of light and sparks coming from overhead wires

Storm Elin has seen strong winds and heavy downpours lash parts of the UK and Ireland, with the storm named by the Irish meteorological service, Met Eireann.

Parts of northern England could see up to 30mm of rain on Saturday, with a yellow warning in place for an area stretching from Carlisle to Sheffield until 3am on Sunday.

A second weather system, moving in on Sunday, has been named as Storm Fergus by the forecaster, with fears it could reintroduce some gusty winds, especially in western areas, alongside further rainfall.

The most impactful winds of the storm are expected to hit Ireland.

The Environment Agency has issued 43 flood warnings for England, up from 33 earlier in the day – where flooding is expected.

Flooding is also possible in 252 locations as of Saturday night, the agency warned.

Manchester Piccadilly Station posted on X, formerly Twitter, just before 7pm on Saturday: ‘Damage to the overhead wires between Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road means services on platforms 13 and 14 are cancelled or revised.’

‘Where possible, Northern customers are advised NOT TO TRAVEL due to multiple weather-related incidents, and replacement road transport being very limited,’ railway operator Northern said.

The various warnings have not stopped revellers in the north of England enjoying their Saturday nights.

Partygoers armed with brollies were pictured bracing against the wind and rain in Manchester and Leeds.

The wet weather failed to dampen the Christmas spirit of many of those out on the town, who were seen sporting Santa hats, reindeer antlers and other festive fancy dress.

A Christmas reveller struggles with her umbrella on a wet and windy night out in Manchester

Revellers in Leeds wearing festive fancy dress and holding an umbrella aloft as downpours hit

One woman was seen running through a huge puddle as she enjoyed a night out in Leeds

A women protects her hair from the rain as she faces the weather to enjoy a night out before Christmas

Leeds students took on the Otley Run – a two-and-a-half-mile pub crawl – despite the grim weather

Youngsters in fancy dress brought brollies with them for a pub crawl in Leeds on Saturday night

A yellow wind alert is in place over parts of northern England and the Midlands, as well as Northern Ireland, until 11.45pm on Saturday.

Much of Ireland is also under wind warnings on Saturday with Met Eireann cautioning severe gusts could cause disruption and travel difficulties.

Areas with Irish Sea coasts could see gusts of up to 70mph, with other areas experiencing wind speeds of between 45mph and 55mph, the Met Office said.

Wind speeds will increase in the west during Saturday morning then across other areas through the afternoon, before easing slowly from the west through the evening.

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said a band of heavy wind and rain will move from the south-west of the UK towards the north-east on Saturday, ‘bringing with it heavy rain for much of the country’.

Waves crashing against the shore at Doolin in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland

The road in Ely, Cambs, was completely submerged in water and resembled a river on Saturday morning

A car parked over large puddles on Wimbledon Common in south-west London on Saturday

Members of the public get caught in a heavy downpour of rain on Oxford Street in central London on one of the busiest weekends for Christmas shoppers

Vehicles create a splash as they are driven through a large puddle following torrential rain in Greenwich, South East London this morning 

Drone footage shows flooding in fields near Dorchester in Dorset on Saturday

He said: ‘By the afternoon most of the heavy wind and rain will have passed and it will just be showers for southern areas.

‘We will also be seeing some quite strong winds in Wales, the Midlands, northern England and Northern Ireland, particularly coastal communities around the Irish Sea.

‘We’re in for a wet and windy weekend.’

The bad weather could cause delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, and coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities may be affected by spray and large waves, the forecaster said.

The unsettled weather will continue into Sunday and next week.

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